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Following the recent twist announced by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) that effective January, 2018, all applicants for either International Passport or Permit renewal (foreigners) must be on issuance of National Identity Number (NIN), there has been growing trend in visits to either the portal of NIS or National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) for clarifications.
The scare was further heightened during a recent world press conference in Lagos by the director-general of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, who warned that any Nigerian without the NIN issued by the commission runs the risk of being regarded as a non-Nigerian citizen.
He added that the government is determined to ensure that citizens are aware of their National Identification Number and is making it mandatory as from September 1st 2017.
Aziz spoke against the backdrop of the federal government’s renewed efforts, spearheaded by NIMC, to enlighten Nigerians on the importance of enrolling to obtain the National Identification Number (NIM), which fully confers on any citizen so enrolled Nigerian citizenship.
According to him, “It is the duty of every citizen to enrol and obtain his or her National Identification Number, which entitles one to be fully regarded as a Nigerian citizen,” he stated, adding “without the NIN anyone’s claims of being a Nigerian citizen are doubtful; that is what the NIMC Act is stipulates.”
Business Hilights recalls that NIMC was established by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, as an offshoot of the Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), to create, establish and maintain a Unique National Identity Database, register persons covered by the Act, assign a Unique National Identification Number (NIN), provide authentication platform for identity verification, issue General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC) and harmonise and integrate existing identification databases in Nigeria.
Details from visitors’ comments and contributions to some of the stories posted by Business Hilights online on the press conference showed high level apprehension and need for further awareness by the agency to avoid brewing confusion on how the new policy twist will work out from next year.
Besides, since last week to date, Google search trend report shows Nigerians, yet unregistered, is seemingly apprehensive about losing their citizenship hence they scramble and search any available information on the website of news sites that carried the story or the NIMC portal to ascertain means of obtaining NIN.
Giving more insights on the issue, NIMC boss list some of the agency’s achievements including the surge of the National Identity Database to 18.5 million records, the establishment of up to 809 NIN enrolment centres nationwide, launch of the new electronic National ID Card with multiple functions, and achievement of GVCP Certification.
Other feats include re-certification of the NIMC Card Personalisation Bureau in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Backend Infrastructures like the ABIS, NIDB Storage, Security Network, Datacentre, DR Sites and the ISO 27001: 2013 Certification and Re-certification as well as the commencement of the enrolment of minors (children of ages 0 – 16).
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