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National Identity Management in Nigeria: Matters Arising

The NIN is required to be presented by registrable persons, before several basic transactions[9] can be undertaken in Nigeria. Specifically, all registrable persons are required to state their NIN while engaging in transactions including the following:

  • Application for, and issuance of a passport;

  • Opening of individual and/or personal bank accounts;

  • Purchase of insurance policies;

  • Purchase, transfer, and registration of interest in land (subject to the Land Use Act);

  • Transactions relating to pensions and Health Insurance Schemes;

  • Consumer credit transactions,

  • Payment of taxes;

  • Registration of voters; and

  • Transactions having social security implications.

  • Registration for, and provision and use of hospitality services;

  • Registration and licensing for, and use of health or medical services;

  • Application for the adoption of an infant, child or person under applicable laws;

  • Purchase and registration of aircrafts, ships, boats, motor vehicles and motorcycles;

  • Registration and use of aviation services by airline operators and customers;

  • Boarding of aircrafts, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and boats;

  • Purchase of travel tickets or tokens for air, rail, road and water transportation;

  • Acquisition, sale or transfer or transmission of shares or equities and other financial instruments;

  • Enrolment into primary, secondary and tertiary schools and continuous professional studies in Nigeria.

  • Registration of companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships and non-profit organisations and other post-incorporation documentation with the Corporate Affairs Commission; and

  • Filing and registration of criminal and civil actions in courts or other arbitration processes.

Specifically, Section 27(2) of the NIMC Act provides that any authority or organization to which a person applies to carry out any of the above listed transactions (or any other transaction as may be prescribed by the NIMC in a Federal Government Gazette), shall request such person to produce his National Identity Card or NIN. Thus, a person (individual or corporate) who violates any of the provisions of the NIMC Act or permits the carrying out of any transaction covered by the NIMC Act without a NIN, commits an offence punishable with various fines and terms of imprisonment (as appropriate) in line with the provisions of Sections 28, 29 and 30 of the NIMC Act. 

Regulatory & Compliance Framework  

The framework for the enforcement of compliance with the requirement of the NIN was first developed in 2015. The framework was reviewed by the NIMC in 2017, culminating in the release of the Mandatory Use of the National Identity Number Regulations, 2017 (the “NIN Mandatory Use Regulations”), published in the official gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria[10].