National Identification Number

Nigerians based in the United States are to pay between $40 and $50 each to be enrolled for the national identity number (NIN).

Uche Chigbo, the special assistant to the director-general of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), stated this in New York on Thursday.

NAN reports that Chigbo spoke during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Consulate shortly before the exercise was launched in the city.

She said that registrants aged 15 years old and below would pay $40 each, while those from 16 years and above will pay $50.

At the official exchange rate, $50 is equivalent to N15,300, while $40 dollars amounts to N12,240.

Chigbo, who is also the deputy general manager of NIMC, explained that the commission came up with the fee after looking at the entire process and what it involved.

“NIMC does not have the legal backing and the resources to go to another country to enrol people and capture biometrics and other data,” she said.

“It is in this light that we decided to license private sector organisations which have the legal backing to engage in such services.

“They made investments in terms of equipment because we didn’t give them the equipment they are using; they have to buy all of that.

“They are also renting offices, employing people and establishing connections between whichever country they are operating in and Nigeria so that they can seamlessly send the records real-time online.

“All of these are investments they are making and as a going concern, a token should be paid for this service that they are going to be rendering.”

NAN reports that the diaspora NIN registration was launched in Houston, Texas on Thursday after it took off in Atlanta and Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to Chigbo, the exercise is ongoing in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, and would be extended to China, Europe and India soon.

Listing its benefits, the NIMC official said it would provide a database for the implementation of the much-desired diaspora voting.

She also said the NIN has become a requirement for accessing services provided by the government and private organisations in Nigeria.

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