Nigeria Advances Bill to Allow All Residents, Including Foreigners, to Obtain National Identification Number


The Senate has approved a bill in its second reading to grant all residents in Nigeria, including foreigners, the right to obtain and use the National Identification Number (NIN).

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Sponsored by Deputy Senate President Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North), the ‘National Identity Management Commission (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2024 (SB. 472)’ aims to replace criminal penalties with administrative enforcement measures to promote compliance with NIN requirements without imposing severe legal consequences.

During Tuesday’s plenary session, Senator Cyril Fasuyi (Ekiti North) presented the bill’s general principles, with Senator Barau Jibrin presiding. Fasuyi emphasized that the bill seeks to repeal the current Act and establish a new regulatory framework for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), enhancing its regulatory capabilities for better oversight of Nigeria’s ID system.

“The bill’s objectives include expanding the eligible registrants under the Nigeria ID System to achieve inclusivity and universal coverage,” Senator Fasuyi explained. “It allows all residents in Nigeria to obtain a National Identification Number (NIN) for official identification purposes.”

Furthermore, the bill proposes streamlined sharing of personal data with robust data protection measures to safeguard privacy and foster public trust. It also enhances administrative enforcement powers to ensure timely compliance with ID registration requirements.

Importantly, the bill advocates for replacing criminal penalties with administrative measures for non-use of NIN, aiming to encourage compliance without burdening individuals with severe legal consequences.

After debates, the Senate proceeded to pass the bill, marking a significant step toward potential reforms in Nigeria’s identity management system.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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