28th July, 2021
Nigerians living in the United States of America have been directed to register for the National Identification Number (NIN), according to the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.
This is coming after Nigeria’s Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Ibrahim Pantami pushed to have Nigerians living in the US register for the National Identity Number.
The Consul-General, Ambassador Lot Egopija, made this known at a “hybrid” town hall meeting held at Nigeria House in New York for Nigerians residing in the area.
Egopija said the exercise will kick off as soon as the Consulate concludes arrangements with the NIMC.
The New York Consulate is one of Nigeria’s four diplomatic representations in the U.S., and Egopija said everyone within its jurisdiction will be enrolled into the database.
There’s been a surge in the number of Nigerians registering for their NIN since the government announced in December 2020 that any mobile phone subscriber without a NIN will have their SIM cards blocked in a matter of weeks.
The deadline has since been moved six different times, with the latest one scheduled for October 2021.
The extension was done to accommodate the registration of foreigners, diplomatic missions, Nigerians in diaspora, and Nigerian residents in hard-to-reach remote areas.
There has been a lot of pushback to the minister’s directive that Nigerians must register for the NIN largely based on his past relationship and utterances regarding terror entities, including Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Boko Haram.
The minister has been the major influence behind the latest push to enroll Nigerians in the database, an exercise he said will help Nigeria fight insecurity better.
Pantami resisted widespread calls to resign after his past comments on terrorism, jeopardising trust in his office and what he can possibly do with the data of millions of Nigerians.
There have been a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrollments, with over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country.
Mr Egopija recalled that when he assumed office as the Consul-General a few months ago, he pledged to have regular interactive sessions with Nigerians living in the U.S. to get feedback and update them with developments at the consulate general.