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NIMC suspends external agents from NIN registrations to audit process

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has temporarily halted third party agents from registering Nigerians for the National Identification Number (NIN).

NIMC said the suspension of external parties known as Front-End Partners (FEPs) will allow a comprehensive audit and overhaul of the registration process.

The agency aims to address issues around data integrity, security lapses and clearing sizeable debts owed to registration agents.

We inherited questionable invoices and claims from agents requiring auditing. This suspension allows us to sanitize the NIN enrollment process,” NIMC Director General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, said.

The DG announced the decision during a training for newly re-validated FEPs in the capital Abuja this week.

NIMC previously licensed over 200 public and private sector bodies as FEPs to ease NIN registrations across Nigeria. But investigations found numerous infractions by some agents.

The suspension comes just months before the Central Bank deadline for all Nigerians to link NINs to bank accounts by January 2024. Millions still require registration and linkage.

Coker-Odusote said the overhaul was not targeted specifically at FEPs but necessary for ensuring integrity within Nigeria’s national digital ID database.

NIMC also aims to verify and settle long-pending payments owed to registration agents, some with accounts dating back over two years.

Officials say the phased revalidation of FEPs should address these debts and boost standards after inherited challenges. Experts say the temporary halt may slow overseas NIN registrations by FEPs but is pivotal for securing Nigeria’s foundational identification system.

NIMC continues urging Nigerians to enroll as it works on digital registration options to ease disruption during the FEP suspension.

Read also: Globacom Refutes Owing MTN Any Interconnect Charges

The agency remains focused on meeting Central Bank linkage deadlines amidst efforts to strengthen data protections. Tougher vetting of external agents should provide greater assurances moving forward.

For now, Nigerians can only register for their crucial NIN identity digitally or through limited NIMC offices during the external agent suspension.

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