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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has provided further clarifications on the planned enforcement of the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other bodies requiring the verification of individuals’ identity in the country.
According to Hadiza Dagabana, Acting General Manager Legal Services, the Commission is taking this step pursuant to the official gazetting of the commencement of the mandatory use of the NIN as enshrined in section 27 of the NIMC Act, which stipulates that transactions, including applications 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 will be done with the National Identification Number beginning from September 1 2015. The commission had earlier announced that as from January 9th 2016 it would commence a drive to enforce the request and use of the number by relevant agencies.
The decision to allow more time before enforcement, Dagabana said, is to provide enabling environment for the Commission to harp on the new drive to aggregate demographic and biometric databases from relevant MDAs and harmonize same as recently directed by the President through the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a meeting held at the presidential villa on Monday 21st December, 2015. At the meeting which was attended by relevant stakeholder agencies of government, Vice President Osinbajo had issued a fresh directive to all government agencies collecting citizens’ data in the country to aggregate their data into a single databank to be managed and operated by the National Identity management Commission, as stipulated in the NIMC Act of 2007.
Enforcement of compliance will be announced to the general public after NIMC has concluded ongoing review of its strategy on compliance. She said the NIMC has circulated gazette copies of the Regulation and Implementation Guidelines to major stakeholder agencies to ensure that they request for the NIN from Nigerians and legal residents before services are rendered to them.
The Commission, therefore calls on all Nigerians to use this period to visit any NIMC enrolment center near them to enroll before the commission begins full enforcement, during which services will be denied to all those who seek such services without their NIN.