To replace the aged NIN slip and polycarbonate card, the federal government has introduced a set of digital tokens. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy stated this at a stakeholders workshop organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Abuja on the National Identification Number (NIN) Tokenization Solution.
According to him, the government adopted the solution to ensure the privacy of individuals’ personally identifiable information during verification transactions, as well as to reduce the incidences of illegal NIN retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage.
The Minister, who was represented by Aliyu Abubakar, Director-General of NIMC, stated that the full implementation would begin on January 1.
The tokenisation solution, he said, was tailored to protect personally identifiable information as well as the sanctity and sensitivity of the NINs issued by the NIMC to registered individuals.
“One of the advantages of the virtual NIN is that it ensures that no third party can perform any verification while hiding behind a proxy (and without the knowledge of the NIMC, which serves as the Custodian of Identity).” Furthermore, a generated token or virtual NIN is unintelligent, completely random, and cannot be reverse engineered, even by a quantum computer.
“The NIN holder is the sole issuer of NIN and it cannot be delegated,” Pantami explained.
He added that anonymization was also addressed by attaching the verifier’s UserID to every verification request and that there was no NIN, no verification.
According to Pantami, NIN tokens are MDA or merchant specific and expire after a set period of time, meaning that a token created for company A cannot be used by company B.
The goal of the programme, according to Abubakar, was to rub minds with stakeholders in order to ensure that everyone understood the product and bought in.
“We must continue to emphasise 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 our citizens’ and other enrollees’ privacy and data.” We must keep the momentum going by developing ongoing public awareness programmes and raising public awareness. Mr. Tunji Durodola, NIMC’s Technical Consultant, also spoke, saying that the Digital Token was created to replace the 11-digit NIN for everyday use.
He claimed that NIN had been shared and stored by various entities without the knowledge or consent of the ID holder or NIMC, Nigeria’s identity custodian.
According to Durodola, the improved NIN slip has a lower firm factor and is available to all who have been issued an active NIN and can be purchased without having to go to the NIMC office.
“Tokenization requires a NIN issued by NIMC, as well as a mobile number registered in Nigeria and linked to your NIN,” he explained.
Hajiya Hadiza Dagabana, NIMC Director of Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Compliance Services, stated that public awareness is required.
She stated that the tokenization would be properly disseminated in various local dialects so that it could be better understood.
According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), tokenization is made up of 16 alpha-numeric characters that begin and end with two letters of the alphabet.