Extension of NIMC Registration to Nigerians in Diaspora

Recently, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC extended the enrollment programme to Nigerians in Diaspora and kicked it off in South Africa.

NIMC Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Aliyu Aziz, said the extension was in line with the commission’s mandate to ensure that all Nigerian citizens home and abroad enrolled into the National Identity Database, Engineer Aziz said every successful enrollee would be issued the National Identification Number, NIN, immediately.

He said the NIMC enrolment in the United Arab Emirates, UAE and the United Kingdom, UK, followed the success recorded in South Africa where the programme was pioneered last month.

National Identification Number has numerous advantages as it would among other things help in tackling security challenges, bring in innovation in doing business, and ensure social and financial inclusion.

In Nigeria, NIN has been made mandatory and people would be required to present their NIMC card or slip before they can enjoy financial services.

In fact, most banks have started demanding for the National Identification Number as a way of strengthening the digital identity of citizens.

This exercise would also assist government to have more accurate statistical data of her citizens living abroad as well as harnessing more skills and talents.

Furthermore, it would enable Nigerians in Diaspora to connect with acquaintances, relatives and friends across the globe.

More importantly, the federal government has also made the possession of NIN a mandatory requirement for elections, bank account opening, land transactions, access to health services, land acquisition, renewal of the international passport, driver’s license and ECOWAS travel document.

Observers have described the enrolment in UAE and the UK as a welcome development as it would assist citizens abroad in transacting businesses putting an end to loopholes in business exploitation and easing the renewal of passports process.

Apart from this, the programme would make it easier for Nigerians in Diaspora to be identified and prevent them from fraud or impersonations.

For NIMC to achieve its aims in the extension of enrolment to Nigerians in Diaspora, it should embark on enlightenment campaigns to educate people on its importance.

There is need for NIMC to be patient while carrying out the exercise to ensure that all Nigerians are captured without delay.

Furthermore, people at home should inform their loved ones in the Diaspora to avail themselves the opportunity while Nigerians abroad should show be ready to participate actively in this enrollment for them to have a sense of belonging.

Nigeria should also look towards making holders of NIMC beneficiaries of social security programme such as free health care, education and shelter as being practiced in countries like America and UK where the holders of security numbers are given preferential treatment.

It is necessary for government to extend the exercise to other countries to enable Nigerians residing there to benefit from the opportunity.

Above all, NIMC and collaborative partners should make the exercise easy and interesting devoid of frustration and unnecessary delay between enrollment and issuance of the card.

Olukemi Akintunde

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