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Senate Passes Bill To Allow Foreigners In Nigeria Obtain NIN

The Senate passed a bill aiming to grant all individuals, including foreigners residing in Nigeria, the right to acquire and utilize the National Identification Number (NIN).

Naija News reports that the bill, passed for second reading on Tuesday, proposes substituting criminal penalties with administrative enforcement measures to promote adherence to NIN usage requirements without imposing excessive legal repercussions on individuals.

The bill, titled ‘National Identify Management Commission (Repeal and enactment) Bill 2024 (SB. 472)’, was sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North).

During the plenary session, Senator Cyril Fasuyi (Ekiti North) presented the lead debate on the bill’s general principles, while Senator Barau Jibrin, the sponsor, presided over the session.

Senator Fasuyi explained that the bill aims to revoke the existing Act and establish a new regulatory framework for the National Identity Management Commission to enhance capabilities to ensure more effective oversight and regulation of the Nigeria ID System.

The senator said, “The objectives of the bill are as follows: (a) Expanding the scope of registrable persons by broadening the eligibility criteria for registration under the Nigeria ID System to ensure inclusivity and universal coverage.

“This allows all persons resident in Nigeria to obtain a National Identification Number (NIN) and utilise it as a recognised form of identification.

“(b) Streamlining the sharing of personal data by incorporating robust data protection measures to not only safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of individuals’ data but also to foster trust among citizens in the landing of their information.

“(c) Enhancing administrative enforcement powers. The efficiency and effectiveness of the NIMC’s enforcement powers will ensure timely and accurate compliance with ID registration requirements.

“(d) Removing Criminalization for Non-Use of NIN: Replacing criminal penalties with administrative enforcement measures to encourage compliance with NIN usage requirements without imposing undue legal consequences on individuals.”

The senators debated and passed the bill.

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