The National Identification Number (NIN) has become a vital means of identification in Nigeria for various purposes ranging from international passport renewal to opening of bank accounts, amongst others.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently directed telecommunication companies in Nigeria to block the lines of subscribers who fail to link their SIMs with their NIN before the January 19 deadline (for subscribers with NIN) and February 9 deadline (for subscribers without NIN).
This resulted in increased registration by Nigerians who are yet to get their NIN in a bid to meet the deadline, even as the NCC recently insisted that the deadline will not be moved.
Decency Global News takes a cursory look at the importance of the NIN to Nigerians in our current system.
Key areas NIN is required
- Voters card registration: NIN is now accepted as a means of identification for obtaining the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in Nigeria.
- Bank account opening and reactivation: NIN is being used to access a wide range of services in banks and the financial services industry, ranging from documentations for the opening of an account, means of identification for payment of second or third party cheques, to reactivation of dormant accounts.
Consular services at Nigerian embassies and missions: As a bonafide citizen of Nigeria, NIN is now being used as a means of identification to access a wide range of services at Nigerian Embassies and Missions abroad, amongst others.
- International passport: The Nigeria Immigration Services has made NIN compulsory as a means of identification for anyone that wants to apply for fresh or renewal of international passports in Nigeria.
- Driver’s license: It has become compulsory for anyone that wants to apply for or renew his or her driver’s license to show his or her NIN as a means of identification. According to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), no vehicle registration or renewal can be done without providing NIN as part of its requirements – no waiver allowed.
- Government-related jobs and grants/loans: Most government-related jobs cannot be secured without NIN as a vital means of identification. As a matter of fact, you even need to provide your NIN in the prescribed job forms to apply for the job.
- Tertiary admissions: Most tertiary institutions, in addition to other means of identification, accept NIN for the processing of admissions and registrations of new students.
What you should know about NIN
- The National Identification Number (NIN) is an eleven-digit number issued to every citizen and legal resident from age 0 under section 27 of the National Identity Management Commission Act.
- Although its primary purpose is to track individuals for social security purposes, the National Identification Number (NIN) has become in reality, a national identification number for taxation and other purposes.
- Enrolment consists of the recording of an individual’s demographic data and capture of the ten (10) fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture and digital signature, which are all used to cross-check existing data on the National Identity Database, to confirm that there is no previous entry of the same data.
- NIN is not the same thing as the National e-ID Card which is a physical token. It can be used on its own for digital identity verification without the e-ID card.