James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recognise the National Identification Number (NIN) Slip issued by the National Identity Management Company (NIMC) as a statutory document, which can be used to carry out legitimate financial transactions.
It further directed NIMC to quicken the production of the identity cards even as it tasked its Committee on National Population to investigate why it’s taking too long to issue the permanent cards.
Also, the lawmakers mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to interact with the central bank and other stakeholders on the need to recognise and accept the NIN Slip as a means of Identification and report within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution of the lower chamber followed a motion by Hon. Ahmed Yerima (APC, Bauchi) on the need for the CBN and other commercial banks to recognise and accept the NIMC National Identification Number (NIN) Slip as a valid means of identification.
He said of the NIN is one means of identification as noted on the slip, which is confidential and may only be released for legitimate transactions and also states clearly that the bearer will be notified when the national identity card is ready and stands in place of the permanent card until it is produced, adding however, that it takes a long time to be produced.
Consequently, Yerima expressed worry that the CBN as a statutory body, had refused to recognise the NIN slip as a means of Identification.
He expressed concern that the CBN had further directed commercial banks not to recognise the NIN slip which is a proof that the permanent Identification card is in process.
Yerima said the development was bound to cause NIN Slip holders waiting their permanent Identification cards to experience untold hardships in their quest to carry out normal banking and other transactions.
But, Hon. Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) called for caution, arguing that the NIN slip may not have a detailed information needed by banks. He said the motion should be rejected.
Also, Hon. Kayode Oladele (APC, Osun) said banks don’t have the obligation to honour slips according to law, stressing that the CBN shouldn’t be asked to direct banks in that regard.
However, other lawmakers backed the motion.
Hon. Mahjeed Alabi (APC, Osun) said banks are just lawless- pointing out that “they don’t even accept National Assembly issued cards. What other institutions can be higher than the National Assembly?”
He said the banks should be mandated to accept the slips as means of identification until the permanent cards are ready.
In the same vein, Hon. Abubakar Kannike (APC, Kwara) Said given that the slip has number and identification photograph on it, as well as the fact that “If it’s coming from NIMC as a government agency, we must honour it.”