In line with federal government directive, the implementation of mandatory
usage of the National Identification Number (NIN) has commenced with
effect from January 1, 2019, the National Identity Management Commission
(NIMC) has announced.
At its meeting on September 12, 2018 chaired by President Muhammadu
Buhari, GCFR, 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).
By that federal directive, therefore, the usage of the NIN becomes
mandatory, from January 1, 2019 to access any government service across
This brings into effect the immediate commencement of the implementation
of the strategic roadmap for the new Digital Identity Ecosystem as
approved by the Federal Government.
According to Engr. Aliyu Aziz, Director-General of NIMC, 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.
Ministries and Agencies such as Education, Aviation, Office of the Head
of Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the
Federation, National Population Commission, National Independent Electoral
Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service,
the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Health Insurance Scheme,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Joint Admissions and
Matriculation Board, Nigeria Police Force, Security and Exchange
Commission etc. must request and verify the NIN as already adopted by the
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal
Road Safety Commission and the National Pension Commission.
Explaining how the mandatory usage of the NIN will be implemented, Engr.
Aziz allayed the fears of the public that the cut-off date might pose a
challenge to citizens or jeopardise their access to government services,
or indeed, put their citizenship in any doubt.
“The process is simple and shall bring no stress to anyone. When the
Federal Executive Council says mandatory usage of the NIN from January 1,
2019, it means that from that date onward, the agencies providing services
listed under Section 27 of the NIMC Act and Section 1 of the Mandatory Use
of the National Identification Number Regulations 2017 shall demand the
NIN from citizens or legal residents before offering them any service.”
Speaking further, Engr. Aziz assured Nigerians that no one shall be denied
any government services on account of not having the NIN.
Rather, 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 a mandate to register all Nigerians and legal residents or at
least over 95 per cent 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.
“NIMC is empowered to ensure strict compliance with the NIN requirement
and can demand evidence of compliance from a person or entity; caution a
non-compliant person or entity in writing; sanction a non-compliant person
or entity by the imposition of administrative fines or institute criminal
or civil actions against the non-complaint person or entity,” Engr. Aziz