Why does the FG exercise more control through the NIN

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The Nigerian government last week announced that some economic activities will not be carried out without a National Identification Number.

The government has declared that Nigerians cannot use the Abuja–Kaduna Train service without their National Identification Number (NIN).

Also, the FG disclosed that without the NIN, Nigerians cannot register businesses.

The additional functions tied to the NIN come after the FG urged Nigerians to register or have public services cut off from them. The FG also said that the new identification policies will improve the fight against insecurity.

According to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), enrollments for NIN increased to 90.68 million as of October 25, 2022. This shows that the country recorded 17.98 million new enrollments in 2022 alone.

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Nairametrics reports that Lagos continues to lead it in terms of the number of NIN enrollments in the country. With 10.2 million registrations in October 2022, Lagos is number one in the table. Mobile subscriptions in the state stood at 25 million in Q2, the highest of any state in Nigeria.

With almost half of the Nigerian population now having their data captured by NIN, it should come as a no-brainer that FG expanded its coverage last week.

On Business Registration, Nairametrics reports that the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said the need is to check the integrity of the data they collect.

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Abubakar, in a lecture, themed: ‘Current Reforms, Innovations, and Challenges in the Corporate Affairs Commission, and Their Impact on the Economic Development of Nigeria’ said:

  • “If you don’t have a NIN, it means you can’t register your company, The essence is to verify the integrity of the data we collect.”

For security purposes: He added that the CAC chose the NIN because its security cannot be compromised, unlike the National Identity Card, passport, and driver’s license, which are easily cloned.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Rail Service has admitted that the boarding of train tickets, especially the Abuja-Kaduna route can only be done with NIN.

In a statement they said,

  • It’s important to be there National Identification Number for every adult boarding the train. No access will be allowed to the departure or arrival hall without a valid ticket.
  • “The purchase of tickets by proxy is limited to minors and a certain number of adult passengers. All individual adult travelers must submit their NIN before a ticket can be issued.”

The NRC has suspended the train service on the Abuja Kaduna route following the attack by some terrorists on a moving passenger train on March 28, 2022, with several passengers on board.

The bottom line: With the successes achieved in the NIN registration exercises (which comes with its own issues of slow productivity in the telecommunications industry as people lose their SIM cards), it is not a coincidence that the FG decided to stamp more authority on its use.

Nigerians in the business community should also be aware of the use of NIN for business registrations, as the scope can be extended to Capital Gains Taxes and other financial services delivered by the FG.

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