The general manager, legal service, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Hadiza Dagabana, has said that every Nigerian is eligible for the issuance of the National Identity Number (NIN) free of charge irrespective of the age. Dagabana, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, stated that the NIN was a prerequisite for every Nigerian and legal resident in order to access government services. “Identity is one of the key points under the United Nations Development Goals, whereby each country is expected to ensure that they identify their citizens and legal residents within a particular period. “So, we are working toward achieving that with the support our partners are giving us, so as to enable us enrol and issue digital identity in the form of NIN. 

“Therefore, whether you have it on a piece of paper or you can’t even remember it you should have the ability to be verified in the national identity database at any given time. “The NIN slip which Nigerians identify as temporary is not temporary, because your NIN is written on that document, it is not temporary, it is a unique ID for that particular person for life.” According to Dagabana, the National Identification Number does not have expiry date, adding that it is only when a person dies that the number will be rested in a soft database for such person. She said: “By that way, we will be able to determine the living people in the country and with that number government can plan effectively for better service delivery.” 

Dagabana also noted that for the under 16 registration, parents and guardians must present their NIN and their children’s birth certificate before the children or wards could be enrolled and issued NIN. The general manager said: “But the child’s biometrics will be tied to his or her parent biometrics until the child turns 16 years when he or she can now come for the biometric capturing.” She then advised Nigerians to seize the opportunity to get registered, adding that NIN had many social benefits, which includes access to government services. She explained: “Currently we are registering from 164 locations in Nigeria both our offices and some special centres where we are collaborating with federal and state governments, including some service providers. “We have our officials there to enrol Nigerians and it is free of charge. When you enrol, the first thing you get is the National Identification Number (NIN).”