Benefits of the NIN retrieval are so many that they do not deserve to be toyed with on the flimsy excuses of time or space of having not yet registered or retrieved our national identification number.
Apart from just being some written codes on paper slip, the National Identification Number is used to tie together all records about you – ranging from your demographic data, fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture, other biometric data and digital signature – into the National Identity Database, making it relatively easy to confirm and verify your identity when you engage in travels and transactions.
This undoubted usefulness of the NIN makes it necessary for all citizens (within and without Nigeria) as well as legal residents of Nigeria to endeavour to obtain their unique NINs as soon as they can.
More recently, there is a surge in the discourse on SIM to NIN linkage which has continued for weeks after the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Pantami, has ordered that all SIM card holders in the country should update their data with the National Identification Number though the process of getting it is still very cumbersome. He cited the need to curtail the increasing rate of insecurity in the country. Experts in the security and telecommunication sectors have hinted that insecurity and criminal activities would be a thing of the past with this.
Benefits of the NIN Retrieval and the Dangers Involved
Discussing the importance of retrieving or registering for the NIN brings us to the discourses on the benefits of its retrieval and yes, the possible dangers that are involved in having it if one is not careful:
1. Benefits of the NIN Retrieval
NIN retrieval give you access to vital services (like passport issuance, banking services, land transactions, insurance services, pension, health insurance, payment of taxes, voter’s registration, consumer credits, and all Government services), your NIN becomes necessary for:
- help confirm which individuals are in actual need of particular Government services, e.g. age and retirement confirmation for pensioners.
- cutting down the time needed for verifying documents to properly identify you in order to access the services you require.
- reducing errors in allocation of services to the right people.
- prevention of fraud or philshing where someone else impersonates you.
- verification of the real identity of other people you go into financial or business transactions with or even people you wish to employ such as house help, etc.
- ensuring you are properly identified when receiving health services, e.g. verifying the actual blood types of blood donors at hospitals.
- verification of voter eligibility during elections.
- managing identity and reduce cyber crime and financial or economic crime.
- synchronisation and unifying individual data on the centralised data system. Nigeria has multiple identification platform that are not functional and so need a central data base.
- tracing the owner of a particular MSISDN [phone number] if any crime is tied to a particular number.
- quelling the hike in kidnapping, robbery, banditry activities in the country.
- finding lost or stolen phones.
2. Dangers Involved in Having the NIN [if one is not careful]
Below are the possible risks one might end up facing if thorough carefulness is not employed in the use of one’s documents or phones:
- Because NIN connects names, parents name, local government address and as many possible information about any registered individual, it becomes very dangerous as it effortlessly exposes one up to manipulations of any kind.
- It becomes VERY easy to trace you if any crime is tied to your number.
- Locating or Tracking the place that crime is committed from or that the demand is made from through the global positioning system is now without stress and this may involve you if any of your sims or phone numbers is understood to have made call or text there.
- Imprisonment may be close as a result of your carelessness to allow your phone to be used for or found in the particular location.
In order reduce the challenge of adequate human capacity on the part of the federal government, and to ease the process of registration across the country, FG has approved the licensing of some agents/partners to conduct enrolment for and on behalf of the NIMC. The agents are to scale up enrolment with additional 4000 centers to the existing 1300 centers nationwide.
Nigerians and legal residents would no longer have to go through harrowing experiences to enrol into the National Identity Database. Also, the Federal Government has ordered the cancellation of all charge and fees for the retrieval of NIN.
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