By Martin Ekpeke
In what appears like issuing a yellow card, which may likely lead to a red card, the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz has warned Nigerians who are yet to get their National Identification Number (NIN) that they risk losing their Nigerian citizenship.
Aziz gave the warning at a World Press Conference at the NIMC’s Lagos State office in Alausa-Ikeja on Saturday.
According to Aziz, the latest warning is part of the federal government effort to persuade Nigerians to obtain NIN, which he said confer on any citizen who has enrolled full citizenship.
“Without the National Identification Number, your claim of Nigerian citizen is doubtful,” he warned. He said the only document that entitles anybody to be regarded as a Nigerian citizen is the National Identification Number.
Quoting the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, the NIMC boss, who was appointed in November 2015 stated that the misconception in some quarter that NIMC’s primary role was merely the production and issuance of National Identity Cards to citizens is wrong.
He explained that the Act establishing NIMC empowers the agency to provide a single version of unique identity for every citizen, provides authentication platform for identity verification, issue General Multi-Purpose Cards, harmonise and integrate existing identification databases in Nigeria.
Highlighting the benefits of NIN, Aziz said it allows one person, one identity and enhances participation in the political process. He also argues that NIN will help fight corruption and terrorism, enables citizens to exercise their rights and facilitates management of subsidies payments.