The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that it will start enforcing the mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) in all official transactions in the country with effect from the 1st of January 2019.
The news was revealed through a statement by the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz on Tuesday.
According to the DG NIMC, the mandatory use of the National Identification number was in fulfillment of the implementation of federal government policy of strategic roadmap for a new Digital Identity Ecosystem.
The new identity ecosystem strategy was approved by President Buhari during the Federal Executive Council meeting last week.
The strategy makes provision for Nigerians and other legal residents in the country to be enrolled into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
According to the statement;
“The FEC’s approval of the new Digital Identity Ecosystem will bring into full force the implementation of the provisions of the NIMC Act 23, 2007, which include the enforcement of the mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) and the application of appropriate sanctions and penalties on defaulters as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act.”
The DG NIMC further explained that the new Digital Identity Ecosystem for Nigeria falls in line with efforts by the Nigerian Government to reposition the economy of Nigeria as number one on the continent.
He said further that Section 27 of the NIMC Act empowers the Commission to set a date for the enforcement of the use of the National Identification Number for transactions within the country as listed in the Act as well as the expansion of applicable transactions in a Regulation approved by the Attorney General of the Federation.
“The Commission shall from 1st January 2019 commence full enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN and apply all applicable sanctions and penalties as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act against defaulters,” he said while adding that the deadline for the harmonization of eligible data with the NIDB is December 1st 2018.
He went further;
“This means only data captured as at 30th November 2018 will be subjected to harmonisation as is currently on-going.
Fresh data capture of persons shall be in compliance with the Provisions set out in the Nigeria Biometric Standards; Mandatory use of the NIN Regulations 2017 and guidelines issued by the Commission.
That is to say the capturing agency must request and verify the NIN before taking secondary demographic data of the person and where the person does not have a NIN, register such person (where it is licensed to do so) or refer such person to a NIN registration centre.
Only licensed public or private agencies shall capture and transmit biometric to the NIDB. Only the NIMC, Nigeria Police Force and other related security agencies shall store biometric data.” He concluded