The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has finalised plans to launch a self-service application system next month.
The commission said the new system would allow Nigerians in the diaspora to seamlessly enrol for their National Identity Number (NIN), a set of eleven digits assigned to Nigerians of all ages and legal residents by the Nigerian government and issued and managed by the NIMC.
The Director-General of NIMC, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, announced the introduction of the self-service application system during a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Monday in Abuja.
According to a statement signed by the Technical Adviser to the NIMC boss on media, Ayodele Babalola, the application system promises a contactless and seamless experience for Nigerians in the diaspora seeking to obtain their NIN.
He noted, “The National Identity Management Commission has announced plans to allow Nigerians in the diaspora to seamlessly enrol for their National Identity Number through a user-friendly self-service application.
“Scheduled to go live in February, the application promises a contactless and seamless experience for Nigerians in the diaspora seeking to obtain their NINs.”
He stated that NIMC would set up a Diaspora Focal Point Desk to resolve issues within 24 hours.
“As part of the process, a dedicated Diaspora Focal Point Desk will be established at the NIMC office to ensure swift resolution of issues within 24 hours. This customer-centric approach aims to provide efficient support to Nigerians abroad in line with the agency’s commitment to quality service delivery,” Babalola stated.
On her part, Ms Dabiri-Erewa expressed gratitude to the NIMC delegation for the innovative solution while acknowledging the forward-thinking strategy adopted by Coker-Odusote.
The NiDCOM chairman highlighted the significance of the new system, emphasising its capability to easily link NIN with international passports for Nigerians residing outside the country.
In 2019, the National Identity Management Commission commenced the Diaspora enrolment exercise aimed at capturing Nigerians living outside the country into the National Identity Database.
It is aimed at ensuring they also benefit from the acquisition of their NIN, which is mandatory for every citizen and legal resident.
In its 27 May 2023 update, NIMC revealed that the number of diaspora Nigerians in its database hit 427,962, with 178,799 females and 249,163 males.
NIN has become a vital means of identification in Nigeria for various purposes ranging from application for driving license to opening of bank accounts, among others.
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. And 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.
The National Communications Commission recently directed telecommunication companies in Nigeria to block the lines of subscribers who fail to link their SIMs with their NIN before the 19 January 2024 deadline (for subscribers with NIN) and 9 February 2024 deadline (for subscribers without NIN).