Nigeria has commenced enrolment and issuance of National Identification Numbers (NIN) to its citizens in 16 countries across five continents.
The Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Aliyu Aziz, made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja. He was speaking on “Strategic Roadmap for ID Development’’ at a video conference with newspaper editors.
The civic registration exercise, being carried out in collaboration with private data management companies, enrols Nigerians, including those living in the diaspora, in the country’s National Identity Database. A registered person is issued a National Identification Number (NIN), a unique set of eleven-digit number.
Aziz said that as at March this year, capturing and issuance of NIN to Nigerians by the NIMC had taken place in the U.S., UK, China, South Africa, Austria, Germany and India.
According to him, the registration has also taken place in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Togo, Canada, Benin Republic, Italy, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates.
He, however, did not say the exact number of Nigerians in the diaspora so far captured in the identity registration but assured that Nigerians everywhere would be registered eventually.
The NIMC chief disclosed, however, that only about 41.5 million citizens and legal residents had been enrolled since 2012 when NIMC commenced the registration scheme, assuring that the NIMC had intensified efforts to register more people.
Explaining details of the registrations, Aziz noted that more people were registering in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, compared to other cities, while residents of states in the South-East appeared to show little interest in the identity capturing.
Aziz said that the NIMC had entered strategic partnerships with the News Agency of Nigeria, National Orientation Agency, Nigerian Television Authority and other media organisations to sensitise Nigerians on the importance of identity registration.
Kicking off the registration exercise in Berlin on 23 August 2019, Nigeria’s ambassador to Germany, HE Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, spoke on the importance of the NIN enrolment as it would enable the country’s diplomatic missions properly identify Nigerians. He also explained that the increasing mandatory use of NIN to access government services in Nigeria makes participation in the enrolment exercise further imperative.
Two companies, Biosec Solutions and VFS Global, are currently carrying out the NIN enrolment in Germany.
Kola Tella with NAN report