‘Implementation of Mandatory Use of NIN Necessary in 2019’

Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz

In line with federal government’s directive on the implementation of mandatory usage of the National Identification Number (NIN), with effect from January 1, 2019, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said that the implementation has become necessary, in order to open opportunities for Nigerians to access any government service across the country.

The Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, who gave the clarification in Abuja recently, said all federal government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) that take records of personnel and provide services requiring the identification of a person, had since January 1, 2019, commenced its implementation and have started demanding NIN from citizens to offer any of such services.

At its meeting on September 12, 2018 chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the new National Digital Identity Ecosystem Strategic Roadmap for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB).

This brought into effect the immediate commencement of the implementation of the strategic roadmap for the new Digital Identity Ecosystem as approved by the federal government, Aziz said.

He added that 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, 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 NIN works, 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,” Aziz explained.
Speaking further, he assured Nigerians that no one shall be denied any government services on account of not having the NIN.

According to Aziz, individuals who are unable to access NIMC’s office, were expected 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.

“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,” Aziz further said.