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NIMC says new digital identity verification channels can solve Nigerian passport backlog

NIMC says new digital identity verification channels can solve Nigerian passport backlog

Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has called on the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to use alternative digital ID verification platforms such as the improved NIN slip with QR Code and the MobileID app currently available to verify the identity of service seekers.

This call comes as the NIS has complained in the past that delays in the issuance of passports often arise from delays in verifying the national identification numbers (NINs) of applicants, reports The Guardian. This Day Live reports that some applicants were told the NIN portal had been offline for weeks.

The NIMC released the improved NIN slip and MobileID app early this year with the aim of facilitating the process of obtaining digital IDs and linking them to SIM cards as prescribed by the federal government last year.

In a recent statement quoted by the outlet, NIMC Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, said such complaints from the NIS showed the alternative ID verification systems were not adequately put to use. He said these platforms give the user full control of their ID credentials which can be seamlessly verified by simply scanning the barcode.

“In the past one year, NIMC launched an improved NIN slip with QR Code and MobileID app to ensure that alternative channels for identity verification are provided. These new channels put personal identity back in the hands of the ID holder and allows for easier and quick verification by simply scanning the barcode. All existing and prospective verification agents (all agencies of the Government and the private sector) are expected to utilize these available channels including the mobile web service (MWS) to verify the identities of their customers,” a portion of the statement reads.

It reiterates that “the improved NIS slip and mobile ID app are credible and reliable channels to carry out NIN verification services. With focus on the digital economy policy of the Federal Government, the Commission will continue to offer innovative solutions for digital ID usage and seamless services to support identification for development.”

While calling on the NIS to “leverage these channels and the jointly agreed offline method for handling NIN verification requests for passport applicants,” the NIMC official re-echoed the body’s commitment to continue enrolling Nigerians and legal residents for the issuance of the digital ID numbers while also ensuring that it makes available “an authentication platform for the verification, validation and confirmation of the unique identity credentials issued.”

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