The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed plans to introduce a digital token comprising 16 alphabets and numbers to replace the current 11-digit National Identity Number, with effect from January 2022.
As such, the Federal Government plans to make illegal and a punishable offence any company or agency found verifying the 11-digit National Identity Number.
This was disclosed in a booklet by the National Identity Management Commission and titled, ‘Facts about NIN tokenization.’
According to the booklet, companies and agencies are allowed to only store and verify virtual NIN or digitoken, which is a set of 16 alpha-numeric characters issued exclusively by an ID holder with NIN.
The booklet read in part, “The virtual NIN is issued by an ID holder who has onboarded the NIMC MobileID application or generated via the USSD service. The Digitoken is issued to a specific verification entity and may only be verified by that entity and no one else.”
It was disclosed that the vNIN is non-transferable and expires after 72 hours.
However, It was revealed that persons below the age of 18 could also generate a virtual NIN from their parents’ profile on the NIMC application.
The booklet also read in part, “The Digitoken issued by the ID holder (to be known as the Issuer) will now replace the raw 11-digit NIN in all databases around the country, with the exception of the National Identity Database domiciled at the NIMC.
“It will become illegal and punishable to the full extent of the law to store or attempt to verify the raw NIN”.
It was disclosed that full implementation of the digitoken should happen by January 2022.