NIMC Suspends Third-party Agents from NIN Registration as CBN’s Revalidation Deadline Nears
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has recently announced a temporary suspension of Front-End Partners (FEPs) from participating in National Identification Number (NIN) enrolments. This significant development was disclosed by Abisoye Coker-Odusote, the Director-General of NIMC, during a comprehensive four-day training session for the newly revalidated FEPs in Abuja.
This decision comes on the heels of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive, revealing that all Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) or NIN linked to accounts must undergo electronic revalidation by January 31, 2024. Additionally, the CBN stated that accounts lacking BVN and NIN would be placed on “Post no Debit” status starting April 2024.
The suspension of third-party services is part of a broader revalidation exercise aimed at streamlining the enrolment process and addressing outstanding debts owed to these agents. Coker-Odusote emphasized that this initiative is not aimed at any specific group but is a necessary step toward ensuring data integrity within the country’s identity database.
NIMC’s Review of Debt Claims: The NIMC Director-General highlighted that the suspension of NIN enrolment activities at FEP centers is a strategic move to audit claims made by FEPs and ensure compliance with the highest standards of data security. This phased revalidation exercise is expected to address significant debts inherited by the current administration, some linked to questionable invoices and claims.
Coker-Odusote stated, “I inherited substantial debts owed to FEPs for over two years. Some of the invoices and claims were questionable, necessitating a proper audit. The flaws in the process and system left me with no option but to take deliberate steps toward sanitizing the enrolment process. Consequently, NIN enrolment activities at all FEP centers have been temporarily suspended, pending the outcome of a revalidation exercise.”
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Clearing Outstanding Payments: In an earlier announcement, the NIMC Director-General revealed plans to clear outstanding payments owed to Front-End Partners (FEPs) within the first quarter of 2024.
Insights into NIMC’s Expansion Efforts: In 2020, NIMC embarked on an extensive drive to expand the NIN database by licensing 203 agents nationwide, including private sector agents and state governments/public sector institutions. These agents were authorized to conduct enrolments on behalf of NIMC, contributing to the National Identity Database (NIDB).
The expansion included key public sector institutions, such as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Pension Commission, CBN (via Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc), National Population Commission (NPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Joint Tax Board, and Nigeria Postal Services.
NIMC had also extended invitations to various organizations, including Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), expressing interest in participating in the NIN enrollment initiative. The criteria for consideration included a proven track record in similar roles to enhance the efficiency and reach of data collection and NIN issuance processes.