27 Feb The Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulations, 2017
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in late 2017 released the Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulations, 2017, which was made pursuant to the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007. The Regulation has a wide-ranging effect, such that it is now mandatory to obtain a National Identification Number (NIN) in order to carry out everyday transactions including booking airline tickets.
The NIN is a set of unique numbers assigned to every individual upon successful enrolment into the National Identity Database. The enrolment applies to citizens of Nigeria and persons who have been resident in Nigeria for not less than two years (including lawfully permanent residents).
The objectives of the Regulation include (but not limited to) the following;
- To harmonize existing identity databases and create a centralized National Identity Database
- To eliminate duplicate identity
- To ensure transparency, fairness and non-discrimination, inter alia.
The Act (Section 30(1)(a)) makes non- registration by a registrable person an offense punishable by law. In fact, every registrable person must now provide a NIN number in order to carry out certain transactions, some of which are listed below;
Financial Services – This includes operating a bank account, cashing in on financial instruments, purchase and sale of foreign currency in banks and bureau De Change and the documentation for loans.
Property Transactions – This includes all transactions involving the acquisition, use or transfer of parcel of land or landed properties
Corporate Commercial Transactions – This includes the incorporation of companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships, non-profit organizations and other post incorporation requirements at the Corporate Affairs Commission, the acquisition, sale or transfer or transmission of shares or equities and other financial instruments.
Information Technology – This includes the purchase and registration of telephone SIM Card and other communication devices and the licensing of telecommunication vendors.
Judicial Activities – This includes the documentation of arrested and convicted persons, filing and registration of criminal and civil actions in Courts or other arbitration processes.
Travel, Hospitality and Healthcare Services – This includes the registration for and provision and use of hospitality services, registration and licensing for and use of health or medical services, purchase of travel tickets or tokens for rail, road and water transportation, boarding of aircrafts, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and boats.
Education – This includes the enrolment or registration for internal and external examinations with educational and examination boards, enrolment into primary, secondary and tertiary schools and continuous professional studies in Nigeria.
Other transactions provided by the Regulation include the purchase and registration of aircrafts, ships, boats, motor vehicles and motor cycles, licensing and registration of clearing and forwarding agents, issuance of birth certificates, provision of consular services, issuance of driver’s license, tax identification, registration and licensing of security companies, executing contract or business agreements, tenancy agreements and any other transaction, contract or agreement for a valuable consideration and for the transfer of any interest, tangible or intangible, inter alia.
The NIMC is empowered to ensure enforcement and strict compliance with the NIN Regulation, and can demand evidence of compliance from persons or entities; caution a non-compliant person or entity in writing; sanction a non-compliant person or entity by the imposition of administrative fines or institute criminal or civil actions against the non-compliant person or entity.
Although with a rage of consequences for lack of registration, the Regulation is yet to take full effect in terms of enforcement. It is however advisable, for companies and business owners to ensure that their officers obtain registration in order not to hinder their daily commercial activities.