Improved digital ID number slip, mobile app to ease Nigeria’s SIM registration
Nigeria’s federal government has moved to ease the procurement of biometrics-backed national identifications numbers (NINs) and the process of linking them to SIM cards through the release of a new version of the NIN slip and a mobile application.
There is currently a process in the country for mobile telephone users to have their NINs linked to their SIM cards, and authorities are exploring ways and means to facilitate things for citizens.
According to Vanguard, the design and release of the new version of the NIN slip and the mobile app was announced in a recent statement from the office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The move, the statement notes, is part of efforts by the federal government to ease the process of obtaining digital IDs and integrating them to the SIM cards of mobile telephone users.
“These efforts are aimed at supporting the policy to link subscribers’ NIN to their SIM, which was approved by the federal government earlier in the year (2020) and communicated to the NCC on the 4th of February, 2020,” part of the statement reads.
As per the Vanguard report, the mobile app, dubbed NIMC Mobile App, which is ready for use, will enable citizens to link up their NINs to their SIM cards.
“The app also enables them to link the NIN to their phone numbers. The development of the app and other tools to support the National Identity Number process align with the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria. The app offers a built-in harmonisation process that allows for its use across other government services including the NCC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Road Safety Commission and National Health Insurance Scheme, to mention a few,” the statement disclosed.
The new NIN slip is said to be pocket-friendly and easy to use, and information on how to obtain them as well as the mobile app is available at offices of the Communications Ministry and as well as the National Identity Management Commission.
Other uses of the NIN
Apart from adding NINs to the SIM cards of telephone users in Nigeria, there are a lot more purposes for which the biometrically-verifiable eleven-digit ID number will be required, according to the NIMC.
A report by Legit.ng reveals that the NIN will also be required for obtaining the national e-ID card; for acquisition of travel documents such as passports; when opening a personal bank account; establishing a driver’s licence; obtaining the permanent voter’s car’; participating in the national health insurance scheme; payment of taxes; transactions related to the contributory pension scheme; having access to welfare and other services from government; transactions with social security implications and all land matters subject to the Land Use Act.
Digital ID to drive Nigeria’s growth
As Africa’s most populous nation continues its move to establish a digital ID for citizens, experts are already projecting that the process will come with a number of socio-economic fortunes.
An article published in The Nation explores the benefits of Nigeria’s transition to a digital ID system and says it will help save the country some foreign exchange, check a number of internal security challenges, encourage access to financial services as well as build investor confidence in the country’s unstable economy.
“Digital ID coverage could unlock economic value equivalent to seven per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2030 in the adoption and its usage. This would in turn positively impact the Gross National Product (GNP) which is the value of what Nigerians earn in-country and abroad because there is reliable data to drive economic decisions,” a portion of the article reads.
The writer also suggests that as the country looks to put in place the technology critical to the development of a digital society, cloud computing could very well be one of the priority aspects to consider by the government.