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Why FG is exercising more oversight through NIN

The Nigerian government last week announced some economic activities that would not be executed without the National Identification Number.

The government stated that  Nigerians won’t be able to use the Abuja–Kaduna Train service without their National Identification Number (NIN).

Also, the FG disclosed that without the NIN, Nigerians would no longer be able to register businesses.

The extra functions tied to the NIN come after the FG urged Nigerians to register or have public services cut from them. The FG also said the new identification policies would boost the fight against insecurity.

According to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), enrolments for the NIN rose to 90.68 million as of October 25, 2022. This shows that the country has recorded 17.98 million fresh enrolments in 2022 alone

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Nairametrics reports that Lagos maintained its lead in terms of the number of NIN enrolments in the country. With 10.2 million registrations as of October 2022, Lagos was number one on the table. The state’s mobile subscriptions stood at 25 million as of Q2, the highest by any state in Nigeria.

With nearly half of Nigeria’s population now having their data secured with NIN, it should come as a no brainer that FG expanded it’s scope last week.

On the Business Registration, Nairametrics reported that the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said that the necessity is to verify the integrity of the data they are collecting.

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Abubakar, at a lecture, themed: ‘Current Reforms, Innovations, and Challenges of the Corporate Affairs Commission, and Their Impact on the Growth of Nigerian Economy’ said:

  • “If you don’t have a NIN, it means you can’t register your company, The essence is to verify the integrity of the data we are collecting.”

For security purposes: He added that the CAC opted for NIN because its security can’t be compromised, unlike the National Identity Card, passport, and driver’s license, which could easily be cloned.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Rail Service admitted that boarding train tickets, especially the Abuja- Kaduna route can only be done with NIN

In a statement they said,

  • It’s important to have National Identification Number for every adult boarding the train. No access will be allowed into the departure or arrival hall without a valid ticket.
  • “Purchase of tickets by proxy is limited to minors and a specified number of adult passengers. All individual adult travelers must submit their NIN before the ticket can be issued.’’

NRC suspended train service on the Abuja Kaduna route following the attack by some terrorists on a moving passenger train on March 28, 2022, with many passengers on board.

The bottomline: With the successes achieved in the NIN registration exercises ( which came with its own issues of slowed productivity in the telecoms industry as people lost their SIM cards), it should not be a coincidence that the FG has decided to stamp more authority on its usage.

Nigerians in the business community should also be made aware of the usage of NIN for business registrations, as scope could be expanded into Capital Gains Taxes and other financial services delivery from FG.

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