Senate To Decriminalise Non-use Of National Identity Number

The Senate is set to decriminalise the non-use of National Identity Number (NIN) through a bill to repeal the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2014.

Leading the debate on the NIMC repeal and enactment bill, 2024, which was sponsored by Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano North Senatorial District) and read by Senator Cyril Fasuyi (Ekiti North), Barau said the bill would remove the criminalisation of Non-Use of NIN.

“Replacing criminal penalties with administrative enforcement measures to encourage compliance with NIN usage requirements without imposing undue legal consequences on individuals,” Barau said of the bills.

“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, permit me to lead the debate on the general principles of the National Identity Management (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2024 (SB. 472). The Bill seeks to repeal the extant Act and enact a new National Identity Management Commission regulatory regime. The Bill was read in this Chamber for the first time on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

“The Bill represents a significant legislative endeavour aimed at enhancing the efficiency and inclusivity of the Identity Management System through comprehensive provisions designed to improve and update the extant provisions in line with global best practices.

“The proposed legislation is crucial for this country’s socioeconomic and political development, as a robust identity management system forms the foundation for national security and an effective identity management system. This is imperative, especially with technological advancement, which has led to an astronomical rise in crimes relating to identity theft globally,” Barau said.

He said the objectives of the Bill are to expand the Scope of Registrable Persons.

“By broadening the eligibility criteria for registration under the Nigeria ID System to ensure inclusivity and universal coverage. This allows all persons resident in Nigeria to obtain a National Identification Number (NIN) and utilise it as a recognised form of identification,” Barau said.

He said the bill is seeking to stream the sharing of Personal Data.

“By incorporating robust data protection measures to not only safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of individuals’ data but also to foster trust among citizens in the landing of their information.

“Enhancing Administrative Enforcement Powers: The efficiency and effectiveness of the NIMC’s enforcement powers will ensure timely and accurate compliance with ID registration requirements. This will lead to a more streamlined registration process, thereby reducing bureaucratic hurdles and enhancing the reliability of the Nigeria ID System.



“Removing Criminalisation for Non-Use of NIN: Replacing criminal penalties with administrative enforcement measures to encourage compliance with NIN usage requirements without imposing undue legal consequences on individuals.

“Strengthening Regulatory Functions: Enhancing the NIMC’s regulatory capacity to enable more effective oversight and regulation of the Nigeria ID System. This ensures adherence to established standards and guidelines, fostering public trust in the integrity and reliability of the system.

“Enhancing NIMC’s Harmonization Role: Strengthening the NIMC’s role in harmonising various identification systems across Ministries, Departments and Agencies to promote interoperability and coherence across different sectors,” Barau said as lawmakers passed the bill for second reading.


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