Recently, the National Identity Management Commission Act, 2007 enacted the Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulations, 2017.
The Regulations were made in order to aid successful transactions and easy access to services on the day-to-day activities of every Nigerian citizen and legal resident from age 0.
The National Identification Number (NIN) is a set of unique numbers assigned to all eligible citizens upon a successful enrolment into the national identity database.
The Act defines an eligible person as any person who is a citizen of Nigeria; any person, whether or not he is a citizen of Nigeria, who is lawfully and permanently resident in Nigeria; and any non-citizen of Nigeria who is lawfully resident in Nigeria for a period of two years or more.
The mandatory use of the NIN under section 27(1) of the Act makes it an offence for a person not to register and obtain the NIN. In addition, the regulations provide that a person must provide his/her NIN in order to carry out certain transactions broadly categorized for ease of reference as follows:
- When you want to register and obtain your National e-ID card
- For processing your travel documents (international passport application & acquisition)
- For opening personal bank accounts
- To get your driver’s license
- To register and obtain your Permanent Voters’ Card
- To participate in the National Health Insurance Scheme
- For payment of your taxes
- To engage in transactions related to your contributory pension scheme
- To gain access to welfare and other relevant services from the Nigerian Government
- For transactions with social security implications
- land transactions subject to the Land Use Act
However, given the penal consequences and restrictive effects of not obtaining a NIN, it is advisable that eligible individuals obtain their NINs as quickly as possible.