THE NIMC ACT 2007 AND THE MANDATORY USE OF THE NIN REGULATION OF 2017 VIS A VIS YOUR RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AS NIGERIAN CITIZENS By Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo

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    Many Nigerians, illiterate, educated , learned , exposed, voiceless, vulnerable rich and poor are busy ensuring that they get registered so as to obtain an NIN without bordering to know what this law and regulation are all about and how they affect their rights and privileges as Nigerian citizens . Before I go into the crux of this write up I will like us to appreciate the meaning of the words Act and Regulation . An Act is legislation passed by the law making body of a country having gone through the law making process setting out the broad legal/policy principles of a law while a Regulation is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behaviour, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate.

    From above, it is clear that the NIMC Act 2007 is a law passed by the National Assembly while the Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulation 2017 is system of rules created and enforced by the executive arm of the Nigerian government and so , it is not a law but has the force of law .

    Having understood what an Act and a Regulation is, it is imperative for Nigerians to know how each of them affects their rights and privileges as citizens of Nigeria .

    By the National Identity Management Act every Nigerian citizen must produce his Multipurpose Identity Card or National Identification Number for the following transactions, that is:
    (a) application for, and issuance of a passport:
    (b) opening of individual and or personal bank accounts;
    (c) purchase of insurance policies:
    (d) subject to the provisions of the Land Use Act, the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any individual or any transaction connected therewith;
    (e) such transactions pertaining to individuals as may be prescribed and regulated by the Pensions Reform Act, 2004:
    (f)such transactions specified under the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme:
    (g) such transactions that have social security implications:
    (h) all consumer credit transactions;
    (i)registration of voters:
    (j ) payment of taxes;
    (k) such relevant government services; and

    In addition to the above transactions a to k , by the Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number Regulation every Nigerian citizen shall use the National Identification Number (NIN) for the following additional transactions—
    (a) registration for and provision and use of hospitality services ;
    (b) registration and licensing for and use of health or medical services ;
    (c) application for the adoption of an infant, child or person under applicable
    laws ;
    (d) purchase and registration of Aircrafts, Ships, Boats, Motor Vehicles
    and Motor Cycles ;
    (e) change of ownership of aircrafts, ships, boats, motor vehicles and
    motor cycles ;
    (f)registration and use of aviation services by airline operators and
    customers ;
    (g) purchase of travel tickets or tokens for air, rail, road and water
    transportation ;
    (h) boarding of aircrafts, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and boats ;
    (i) registration for and purchase of insurance policies ;
    (j)acquisition, sale or transfer or transmission of shares or equities and
    other financial instruments ;
    (k) registration and licensing of cybercafé operators ;
    (l) verification of users of cybercafé services ;
    (m) recruitments for temporary and permanent employment ;
    (n) enrolment or registration for internal and external examinations with
    educational and examination boards ;
    (o) enrolment into primary, secondary and tertiary schools and continuousprofessional studies in Nigeria ;
    (p) registration and eligibility for bursary and other social benefits ;
    (q) registration and membership of professional bodies ;
    (r) eligibility and documentation for provision of welfare services bygovernment agencies and other non-governmental institutions ;
    (s) registration of companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships and nonprofitorganizations and other post-incorporation documentation with the Corporate Affairs Commission ;
    (t) documentation of arrested and convicted persons ;
    (u) filing and registration of criminal and civil actions in courts or other
    arbitration processes ;
    (v) payment of emoluments ;
    (w) import and export of products, commodities or goods ;
    (x) purchase and registration of telephone SIM Card and other
    communication devices ;
    (y) licensing of telecommunication vendors ;
    (z) licensing and registration of clearing and forwarding agents ;
    (aa) identification and registration of refugees and internally displaced
    persons ;
    (bb) issuance of birth certificates ;
    (cc) provision of consular services ;
    (dd) issuance of driver’s license ;
    (ee) registration for pilgrims or provision of pilgrims services ;
    (ff) registration or documentation of pensioners ;
    (gg) registration for the issuance of travelling documents ;
    (hh) registration of voters ;
    (ii) tax identification ;
    (jj) operating a bank account ;
    (kk) cashing in on financial instruments ;
    (ll) purchase and sale of foreign currency in banks and bureau de change ;
    (mm)documentation for loans ;
    (nn) registration and licensing of security companies ;
    (oo) executing any contract or business agreement ;
    (pp) tenancy agreements ;
    (qq) obtaining and processing of probate documents ;
    (rr) all transactions involving the acquisition, use or transfer of parcel of
    land or landed properties ;
    (ss) any transaction, contract or agreement for a valuable considerationand for the transfer of any interest, tangible or intangible ; and
    (tt) application for or biding for any Local, State or Federal Governmentjobs or contracts or accessing any benefits from any intervention programme whether via a created portal or manual application.

    From the forgoing, it is clear that both the Act and the regulation unduly curtails the rights and privileges of Nigerians as they invades and intrudes on the privacy of Nigerians . Government is not just all about those who govern but also the people who are governed . Granted that the government needs some form of control of its citizens activities nevertheless its citizens in a democracy deserve their privacy.

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