Kano, Lagos, Kaduna, and three others emerged as states with the highest National Identity Numbers (NIN) registration in Nigeria in 2021.

This is contained in a recent National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) report covering the period of 2019-2021, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In 2021, the total number of NIN registration reported by the body stood at 27.05 million as against 5.02 million reported in 2020.

According to the report, the data represents a 439.1 percent year-on-year growth in NIN registration compared to 2020.

Further breakdown of the report shows that Kano recorded the highest with 3.4 million new registration, accounting for 1.8 million males and 1.5 million females.

Followed by Lagos state which amounted to 3 million NIN registration, representing 1.5 million new registration for males and 1.4 new registration for females as of 2021.

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The report also identified other states with substantial NIN registration numbers. Kaduna recorded 1.4 million registrations, while Ogun state had 1.27 million. Katsina followed closely with 1.25 million registrations, and Oyo state had 1.05 million registrations, among others.

The surge in NIN registration can be attributed to various factors, including the federal government’s response to increasing insecurity in the Nigerian telecoms sector.

To combat kidnappers who used unregistered SIM cards to contact victims’ families for ransom, the government implemented a ban on the sale and activation of new SIM cards in December 2020. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, was mandated to enforce SIM registration and linkage with the NIN.

“The objective of the exercise was to verify and ensure compliance by mobile network operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and digital economy and the commission,” NCC said.

However, the NIMC’s efforts to streamline the registration process, emphasise the importance of a national identity number have contributed to this exponential growth.

In addition, the NIN has become a vital identification document for various activities, including obtaining a SIM card, opening bank accounts, and participating in government programs.

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