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‘National identity card does not qualify you as Nigerian’

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National identity card by NIMC

• NIMC puts issued NIN at over 60 million
A former director general and chief executive officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Dr. Chris Onyemenan, has said the national identity card does not qualify anybody to be a Nigerian.

Onyemenan, who is also the Head, Department of Sociology and Anthropology Baze University, Jabi, Abuja, said the National Identity Number (NIN) is not a blank cheque to qualify anybody as a Nigerian. It is only meant to get a unique identification number for everybody and prevent criminality and multiple identifications.

Many dons at the department were surprised at what appeared to be a new twist to the NIN.

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He said: “Since the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, the NIMC has been given commensurate support by all Nigerian Presidents.”

He noted that the NIN would help the government to get adequate data. He stressed that foreigners could enroll because having a NIN does not mean they are Nigerians.

Head of Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Prof. Ndukaeze Nwabueze, however, said he was not under any illusion that the NIN could change hands.

“The main question is this: What is that thing that will distinguish a Nigerian from a non-Nigerian? If we get this number and it does not help us to distinguish a Nigerian from a non- Nigerian, we still have a mileage to cover,” he said.

The NIMC, meanwhile, has informed that more than 60 million unique NIN have been issued and are now in the National Identity Database (NIDB).

It said this could not have been possible without the cooperation of all stakeholders including the general public.

The Head of Corporate Communications, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, in a statement, yesterday, said the transformational value of a robust and inclusive foundational ID system in today’s world cannot be overstated.

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