NIN is free, enrolment agents charging citizens for digital identity will be sanctioned, says minister
Registering for the National Identity Number (NIN) attracts no charges to citizens. Enrolment agents imposing fees for NIN will be sanctioned, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has warned.
According to a statement issued today in Abuja by the minister’s Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Dr Femi Adeluyi, “some applicants for the Digital Identity Number alleged that they are being asked to pay for the service.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the federal government is bearing the cost of the registration process. As such, the Digital Identity Number is completely free for all Nigerians and legal residents with Resident Permit from the Nigeria Immigration Service. The Digital Identity Number is the right of every citizen, based on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Act 2007.”
Adding: the minister “has directed the Director-General of (NIMC) to investigate these allegations with a view to bringing the perpetrators, if any, to book. The Director-General will also provide a platform for such allegations to be reported.”
The NIN is a set of unique numbers issued by the NIMC to citizens who have registered with it. The NIMC captures the digital identity of all citizens and issued them the NIN as their unique digital identity.
The NIN consists of 11 non- intelligible numbers randomly chosen and assigned to an individual at the completion of enrolment into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
About 173 private sector agents and 30 state governments/public sector institutions have been licensed to conduct enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the NIDB on behalf of the NIMC.
The NIN is already a requirement for opening of bank accounts and application for international passport. It is now required for acquisition of driver’s licence.
By a recent government order, Nigerian telephone subscribers are expected to link their NIN to their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) within two weeks (December 16 to 30 December, 2020) or risk being yanked off networks. It is part of Abuja’s measures to tame rising cases of kidnapping and banditry.