Government agencies and offices will in the future demand the National Identification Number, NIN, of individuals doing any activity, making it imperative to enroll in the registration with the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Director-General, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz has said.
He said the law has established that all Nigerians whether at home or in diaspora must register for the identity number, irrespective of gender, age or location.
Mr Aziz, an engineer, revealed this in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service monitored in Abuja.
He said the commission has so far registered about 19 million Nigerians, with a target of reaching 28 million before the end of the year.
“The National Identity card is for everybody. We register even children. As soon as a baby is born, the population commission will register and issue certificate, and on our own part, we also register the baby and issue the number.
“This Identity Number is like the Social Security Number in the United States. It is also like the Banks Verification Number, BVN, Mr Aziz said.
Asked on the total registered Nigerians, the Director-General said “19 million have been issued the number thus far. When I came in 2015, only about 7 million were registered. But from that time, which is 19 months to now, we reached the 19 million. We are however targeting 28 million before the end of the year.
“We are also working with the World Bank and the European Union to see that within the next 3 – 5 years all Nigerians are able to get it.”
He said foreigners who entered Nigeria through the legal process and stay up to two years can be enrolled and issued the number due to the future need of the number from all government agencies.
On the rural communities’ enrollment, Mr Aziz said “we have offices in all the local governments, but we only have registration equipment in about 500 of the local governments and the remaining one would be supplied with the equipment soon.
“The people in our villages should go to their respective offices for the registration. And we also have some special centres, like in the universities.”
For Nigerians in diaspora, he said the commission is collaborating with the Nigerian immigration towards the registration of Nigerians in embassies after which their information would be transmitted back to the commission for registration and issuance of the identity number.