The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) recently announced a major milestone in Nigeria’s National Identification Number (NIN) system, with enrollments surpassing 100 million individuals.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this achievement, highlighting the substantial growth in NIN enrolment from 61 million to over 100 million within prior years. Before October 2020, only 39 million Nigerians had enrolled in the NIN since its inception in 2007.
However, under Pantami’s supervision from October 2020 to May 2023, more than 61 million citizens were successfully registered, leading to the current database of over 100 million individuals.
The Ministry of Communications expressed its appreciation to the NIMC Governing Board and Management, as well as President Buhari, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Pantami himself, all stakeholders, and the Nigerian population for their contribution to reaching the milestone of 100 million NIN enrolments.
This achievement brings Nigeria closer to the World Bank’s target outlined in the Digital Identification for Development (ID4D) project, which aims to issue 148 million NIN by June 2024. Although the monthly enrolments have been steadily increasing, it is uncertain whether the country will meet this ambitious goal within the given timeframe.
With only 13 months remaining until the deadline, Nigeria would need to enroll and issue NIN to an additional 49.3 million individuals to meet the target. However, considering the average monthly enrolment of 1 million over the past year, reaching 148 million by June 2024 may prove challenging.
In addition to issuing NIN to 148 million Nigerians by 2024, the banking sector has set other targets, including the issuance of NIN to at least 65 million female Nigerians by June 1, 2024, and 50 million NIN to children under the age of 16. Although the NIMC data did not specify the number of children captured, it revealed that 42.7 million females had been issued NIN as of April 28, 2023.
The project also entails the development of functional public and private services that utilize the foundational ID system for authentication and service delivery, particularly targeting marginalized communities.
Furthermore, the training of government personnel in best practices for legal and regulatory frameworks to protect individual data, privacy, and foundational ID is essential. These targets must be achieved by June 2024.
The project’s requirements also emphasize the need for a robust legal and regulatory framework that effectively safeguards individuals’ data and privacy.