The Federal Government of Nigeria has phased out the aging National Identification Number, NIN slip and polycarbonate card and replaced it with a suite of digital tokens.
The Digital Token, TechEconomy.ng gathered, was designed to replace the 11-digit NIN for every usage.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said that with the download of the NIN app from the Play or Apple Store which provides a digital ID, the card ID is no longer needed.
Prof Isa Pantami, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, made this known at a stakeholders’ workshop on the NIN Tokenisation Solution organised by the National Identity Management Commission in Abuja.
The Minister said the government adopted the solution to ensure the privacy of personal identifiable information of individuals during verification transactions and to reduce incidences of illegal retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage of NIN.
Dr Pantami, who was represented by Engineer Aliyu Aziz, the director-general of NIMC, said the full implementation begins on January 1, 2022.
He said the tokenisation solution was customised to protect personal identifiable information and to protect the sanctity as well as sensitivity of the NIN issued by NIMC to registered individuals.
Pantami said, “One of the benefits of the virtual NIN is to ensure no third party may carry out any verification, hiding behind a proxy (and without the knowledge of the NIMC, being the Custodian of Identity).
”And also, generated Token or Virtual NIN is unintelligent, completely random with no correlation to the NIN and cannot be reverse engineered, even by a Quantum Computer.”
“The NIN holder is the only exclusive issuer of NIN and cannot be delegated.”
He said that anonymity was also catered for with the attachment of the UserID of the verifier to every verification request, adding that no National Identification Number, no verification.
The Minister’s representative added that the aim of the programme was to rub minds with stakeholders to ensure understanding of the product and buy-in by all.
“We must continue to reinforce the need for every Nigerian to have a digital identity, irrespective of social class or economic status, improve access to all and ensure continuous protection of privacy and data of our citizens and other enrollees.”
“We must sustain the momentum by creating continuous awareness programmes and sensitising the public.”
Also speaking, Tunji Durodola, the technical consultant of NIMC, said the Digital Token was designed to replace the 11-digit National Identification Number for every usage.
He said NIN had been shared and stored by various entities mostly without the knowledge or consent of the ID holder or the custodian of identity in Nigeria, NIMC.
Durodola said the improved National Identification Number slip had a smaller form factor and is available to all who have been issued an active National Identification Number, saying they may be purchased without having to visit the NIMC office.
“Some of the pre-requisite of tokenisation, one needs a NIN issued by NIMC, and a mobile number registered in Nigeria and linked to your NIN,” he said.