The Nigerian Government has announced that it would replace its National Identification Number (NIN) with a suite of digital Tokens.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami at the stakeholders’ workshop on the National Identification Number (NIN) Tokenization Solution organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Abuja.
FG says the strategy was implemented to ensure privacy protection of individuals during verification transactions and to reduce redundancies during retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage of NIN.
What the FG is saying
They revealed the tokenisation solution would protect personal identifiable information of the users, stating that the benefits of the virtual NIN are to ensure no third party may carry out any verification, hiding behind a proxy (and without the knowledge of the NIMC, being the Custodian of Identity).
“And also generated Token or Virtual NIN is unintelligent, completely random with no correlation to the NIN and cannot be reverse engineered, even by a Quantum Computer. The NIN holder is the only exclusive issuer of NIN and cannot be delegated,” Pantami said.
He said anonymization was also catered for with the attachment of the User ID of the verifier to every verification request, adding, no NIN, no verification. They added that the FG must reinforce the need for every Nigerian to have a digital identity, irrespective of social class or economic status, improve access to all and ensure continuous protection of privacy and data of our citizens and other enrollees.
“We must sustain the momentum by creating continuous awareness programs and sensitizing of the public. Technical Consultant of NIMC, Mr Tunji Durodola said the Digital Token was designed to replace the 11-digit NIN for everyday usage, adding that the improved NIN slip had a smaller form factor and is available to all who have been issued an active NIN, saying they may be purchased without having to visit NIMC office. “Some of the pre-requisites of tokenization are, one needs a NIN issued by NIMC, mobile number registered in Nigeria and linked to your NIN,” he said.