The Nigerian government has announced that its National Identification Number (NIN) will be replaced by a suite of digital Tokens.
This was revealed by Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) stakeholders’ workshop on the National Identification Number (NIN) Tokenization Solution in Abuja.
According to FG, the strategy was implemented to protect individuals’ privacy during verification transactions and to reduce redundancies during NIN retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage.
They revealed that the tokenisation solution would protect users’ personally identifiable information, stating that the benefits of the virtual NIN include ensuring that no third party may perform any verification while hiding behind a proxy (and without the knowledge of the NIMC, being the Custodian of Identity).
“In addition, the generated Token or Virtual NIN is unintelligent, completely random, has no correlation to the NIN, and cannot be reverse engineered, even by a Quantum Computer.”
“The NIN holder is the sole issuer of NIN and cannot delegate,” Pantami explained.
He added that anonymization was also catered for by attaching the verifier’s User ID to every verification request, and that no NIN, no verification.
They added that the FG must emphasize the importance of having a digital identity for every Nigerian, regardless of social class or economic status, improve access for all, and ensure continuous protection of data.
Mr Tunji Durodola, NIMC’s Technical Consultant, stated that the Digital Token was designed to replace the 11-digit NIN for everyday use, and that the improved NIN slip has a smaller form factor and is available to all who have been issued an active NIN, and that they can be purchased without having to visit the NIMC office.
“Some of the requirements for tokenization include a NIN issued by NIMC, a mobile number registered in Nigeria and linked to your NIN,” he explained.