Mandatory use of NIN begins January, Nigerian govt says

The implementation of mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) takes effect from Tuesday, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said.

A statement by Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, said all federal government ministries, agencies, and departments that take records of personnel/provide services requiring the identification of a person, shall from January 1, 2019, mandatorily demand the NIN from citizens to offer any of such services.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the new National Digital Identity Ecosystem Strategic Roadmap for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on September 12 2018.

Aziz assured Nigerians that no one shall be denied any government services on account of not having the NIN.

He said the mandatory enrolment or collection of data by the above-mentioned government agencies or their licensed agents, along with private sector organisations to be licensed by NIMC in the coming days under the digital identity ecosystem means fast-tracking of the enrolment process in the national identity system.

“We have the mandate to register all Nigerians and legal residents or at least over 95 percent of the population within the next three years. It does not necessarily mean that NIMC must have offices or enrolment centres in all nooks and crannies of the country, especially given the current economic situation and realities in our country.

“Instead, in its wisdom the Federal Government approved the new digital identity ecosystem which ensures and mandates all government agencies earlier mentioned and private sector organisations to be licensed by NIMC, to collect citizens’ data using guidelines issued by the NIMC and through secure approved channels of communication send such data to NIMC to generate the NIN.

“This Strategic Roadmap, which is supported by the World Bank, puts Nigeria on the path to becoming one of the leading countries in the World with a verifiable and credible identity system, which is the bedrock for planning, financial management and shrewd budgetary scheme,” he explained.

The FEC approval of the new digital identity ecosystem brings into full force the implementation of the provisions of the NIMC Act 23, 2007, which include the enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN and the application of appropriate sanctions and penalties on defaulters as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act.