Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is going ahead with its plan of introducing tokens for the national identification number (NIN) as part of its know your customer (KYC) policy update, according to Techcabal.
The idea to tokenize the NIN for digital ID verification was first suggested last year, but the move was met with criticism from stakeholders who felt the idea was rushed and lacked proper consultation.
The NIMC however now appears poised to advance with the proposal, and is calling on NIN holders to generate a token either from the NIMC mobile application or via a USSD code dedicated for that purpose, the report notes. The NIN token issuance rolled out in January, according to Techcabal.
The NIMC has also directed service providers who require the NIN for ID verification to henceforth only verify tokens in place of the digital IDs, meaning that they will have to also update their KYC procedures and app configurations to make token verification smooth, easy and also less costly.
Tokenizing the NIN is intended to improve security and privacy around the digital ID which is largely required to access a multitude of services across the board, per Techcabal. This will add an extra layer of security as it will prevent unethical access or storage of users’ personally identifiable information contained in the NIN, the report cites NIMC as assuring.
Techcabal further explains that the introduction of the NIN token does not really change much with regard to ID verification processes for users during service delivery, except for startups that require NIN for KYC.
Nigeria says it has so far issued more than 70 million NINs, representing an estimated 35 percent of the country’s population. The issuance number continues to swell as the drive to link the digital IDs to SIMs continues.
Meanwhile, in a notice issued over the weekend by the NIMC, the NIN verification service (NVS) was temporarily suspended due to maintenance issues, reports The Sun.
Users were asked to resort to other verification channels including the NIN token platform.
The NIMC apologized for the inconveniences and said normal service will be restored once the maintenance works were completed.