By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The issuing authority for National Identity, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has put 1st September, 2015 in which all transactions involving the identification of individuals must be done with the National Identification Number (NIN).
General Manager, Corporate Communications, at NIMC, Abdulhamid Umar, said the Commission is therefore calling on all Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity of enrolment into the National Identity Database and be issued a National Identification Number (NIN), which is the single version of truth and the foundation identity.
NIMC had in recent Newspaper advertorials between 27th April– 4th May, 2015, stated that the use of NIN shall become mandatory as from September 1, 2015, for all transactions offered by applicable government institutions.
These transactions, pursuant to section 27 (1) and (2) of the NIMC Act, 2007 include: application for, and issuance of an International Passport; opening of individual and/or group bank accounts, all consumer credits; purchase of insurance policies; the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any individual; National Health Insurance Scheme, such transactions that have social security implications, registration of voters, payment of taxes, and pensions, etc.
Consequently, “Any government agency/institution, bank, insurance company and all other institutions offering services and/or involved in transactions requiring the identity of an individual must first demand for the NIN. Any individual, institutions/body who fails to comply with the above has committed an offence under the punishable under section 28 of the NIMC Act.” The General Manager, Inspectorate, Regulatory & Compliance Services, Mrs. Hadiza Dagabana said.
Nigerians are urged to appreciate the full import of the NIMC mandate, and understand that the three decades old problem of identity management in Nigeria has been fixed since 2012 by the provision by NIMC of a Unique Identification Infrastructure for Nigeria and the subsequent launch of the National e-ID Card scheme in 2014.
“Clearly, most people are unable to appreciate the shift in paradigm from ‘Card Issuance’, their familiar turf, to ‘Identity Management’, the current global trend, which explains the reason why they insist on getting the physical card even after they have been enrolled and issued their NIN.
“NIMC is focused on establishing ‘Foundation Identity’ (who you are) as the issuing authority for Nigeria, all other institutions, including the Banks and INEC are focused on ‘Functional Identity’ (whether you are eligible for a specific service).
“Functional Identities established pursuant to various organisations’ databases such as the Bank Verification Number (BVN), the Taxpayer Identification Number, etc., are not substitute for the NIN. Therefore, citizens must ensure that they are enrolled into the National Identity Database (NIDB) by 1st September, 2015, the effective date of commencement of the mandatory use of NIN.” said the General Manager, Information Technology/Identity Database, Mr. Chuks Onyepunuka.
For emphasis, the NIN was deployed in 2012 and is still running to date. There are close to 404 Enrolment Centres nationwide, and cards are currently been issued in the state offices across the Nation and the FCT and will be hastened as soon as the Commission scale up on its facilities and infrastructure.