16 facts Nigerians must know about NIN

By Juliet Umeh

With just 104.16 million Nigerians on National Identification Number, NIN enrollment as of the end December 2023, according to the National Identity Management Commission, so many citizens still don’t know much about NIN.

Here are facts you must know:

*What is NIN?

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the National Identity Number, NIN is a unique digital identifier for Nigerians that serves as the foundational database for the country. Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to have the NIN. Also, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, is the government agency responsible for the issuance and management of NIN.

*Why do I need to enroll for NIN?

The enrollment for NIN is a Federal Government Policy. The NIN is used to connect all the records about an individual’s identity into the National Identity Database. It is also used as a valid means of establishing or verifying an individual’s identity.

*How do I enroll for NIN?

To register for NIN, visit the nearest NIMC enrolment center. You can also go to NIMC approved enrolment centres, and your Service Providers to enrol for NIN.

*What are the requirements for obtaining NIN?

You need a valid government issued ID card and bank verification number, BVN if you have one to enroll for NIN. Please visit the website. And there is no deadline for NIN enrollment.

*What is NIN-SIM Linkage?

It is a process of attaching your NIN to your phone number to validate the person who registered the SIM Card. Please note that your phone number will NOT be linked to your NIN if the KYC information in your SIM Registration doesn’t match with the details of the NIN you submitted to your Service Provider.

*What is a step by step approach for NIN-SIM Linkage?

a. Confirm your NIN (by either checking your NIN enrolment slip issued by NIMC or dialing *346#.

b. Generate and submit your Virtual NIN (VNIN) to your network provider(s) via the online, USSD or other channels provided.

c. Your Mobile Network provider will then validate the submitted NIN on NIMC database and link the SIM to NIN if validation is successful.

*What is virtual NIN?

Virtual NIN is an encrypted, coded representation (“disguised”) version of an individual’s actual NIN, which another party verifying the number cannot retain and use in a way that puts the individual’s data privacy at risk.

*How is virtual generated?

You can generate your Virtual NIN via USSD or through the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App following the steps below:

To generate a Virtual NIN via USSD, dial *346*3*Your NIN*AgentCode#
An SMS message will be sent back to you containing the Virtual NIN generated for you.
To generate a Virtual NIN via the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App, launch the MWS Mobile ID app installed on your device (Android or iOS). Make sure you have the current version of the app installed or updated on your mobile device.
Enter your PIN on the lock screen to continue.
Select the “GET VIRTUAL NIN” button on the “Home” screen.

*Is there a limit to the number of SIMs a subscriber can have and link to their NIN?

Yes, you can register a maximum of 4 SIM cards per network operator. This is exclusive of SIMs that you may wish to use in your IOT devices.

*Are SIMs used for IoT services restricted to only the provision of the IoT services?

Yes, they are restricted to the specific IoT service for which they were purchased for.

*Is there a limit to the number of SIMs a corporate entity can have and links to their NIN?

No. A Corporate Entity can register any number of SIMs on the condition that all the SIMs are linked to the company representative’s NIN (Telecom Master) and linked to a secondary NIN (i.e. the NIN of the person assigned the SIM by the Corporate.) This SIM also counts towards the maximum of 4 SIMs that a person can have on a network. Corporate IOT SIMs are only required to be linked to a Telecom Master’s NIN as they are restricted to only communicating with the Server or URL required for the Corporate to provide a service e.g. Car Tracking.

*What should I do if I do not register the SIM card I am currently using?

You are to immediately go to your operator’s shop with your NIN, proof of ownership & usage (frequently dialed numbers, last recharge, frequent browsing websites etc.) of the SIM Card, then re-register.

*Why should I link my NIN to my SIM?

To mitigate identity fraud and other online crimes.
To improve and enhance national security, as well as accelerating economic planning and development.
To establish customer identity that will be useful for Know Your Customers (KYC) initiatives.
To validate SIM card registration records and allow it to be used as a digital identity.

*How do I verify my SIM?

To verify your NIN, visit NIMC website.

*Can a NIN be registered by proxy?

NO, there is no proxy NIN/SIM Linkage for individuals (except for Corporate Organization)

*How do I link my SIM to NIN if I have more than one number?

You can send your NIN to your service provider using *996# from each number. You can also contact your Service Provider for more information on how to link more than one number.

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