Sequel to recent reports of the purported inability of Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) to verify the National Identification Number (NIN) of passport applicants, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has urged the service to explore other alternative verification channels to serve its customers.
A statement by the NIMC, head, corporate communications, Kayode Adegoke, said the inability to identify passport applicants NIN has shown that these alternative verification channels are not being utilized to serve their teeming customers. It behoves NIS to leverage these channels and the jointly agreed offline method for handling NIN verification requests for passport applicants.
The statement read in part: “The National Identity Management Commission wishes to restate its responsibility and commitment to offer identification services to the general public in accordance to the NIMC Act No 23 of 2007. The commission has continued to enrol all Nigerians and Legal Residents for issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN), whilst providing an authentication platform for the verification, validation and confirmation of the unique identity credentials issued.
“As part of ensuring excellent service provision and mitigating some challenges, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami recently secured the approval of the President Muhammad Buhari to upgrade the NIMS infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of the commission to deliver on its mandate.
“In the past one year, NIMC launched 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 allow 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 utilise these available channels, including the mobile web service (MWS) to verify the identities of their customers,” the statement said.
It further said the commission wishes to reiterate that the improved NIS slip and mobile ID app are credible and reliable channels to carry out NIN verification services. With a 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.