What you should know about the newly approved NIMC app

by | Jan 4, 2021

On December 31, 2020, Nigeria’s ICT minister, Isa Pantami released a statement to reinforce the federal government’s directive to link all registered phone numbers with the National Identification Number (NIN). However, to further ease the process, he notified subscribers of another option to facilitate the process — using the NIMC mobile app.

Before now, different telcos have provided means to ease the linking — either through online forms or USSD codes. Meanwhile, the minister also directed that telcos should suspend the charge for NIN verification and retrieval.

However, different concerns about the process still exist as the deadline gets closer. Following this, defaulting phone numbers would be deactivated — projected to be approximately 100 million users as at when the directive was first given on December 16, 2020. Due to reactions and COVID-19 concerns, the deadline was extended to January 19, 2021, from the previous date, December 30, 2020.

It is necessary to note that this process is consequent upon having a centralised database for all mobile subscribers in Nigeria while also emphasising the importance of owning a personal national identification number.

New features on the NIMC Mobile App

Recall, in a previous article, we raised some concerns about data privacy and the legality of the NIMC mobile app. After an official response confirming the government’s involvement, the app was removed from the different app stores it was previously on with a promise to return after an upgrade which would be preceded by a formal release.

[auto-iframe link=https://techpoint.africa/2020/08/17/nimc-app-possible-mass-phishing/embed tag=first]


True to this, On December 31, 2020, NCC informed that the app has been upgraded and it now includes a module for linking mobile numbers with NIN. On January 3, the NIMC Mobile App returned for download on app stores for both Android and iOS phones.

Following the update, it cannot be guaranteed if previously noticed discrepancies — such as getting another person’s details or encryption error — have been rectified.

However, details on the app show that users can link up to seven devices with Nigerian-registered SIMs to one NIN. But on closer consideration, this negates the initial directive given by the NCC in February 2020 restricting a subscriber from owning more than three mobile numbers.

On data security concern, the app claims to be unsusceptible to cloning or details leak as every user’s NIN is protected through an alpha-numeric user ID displayed on the dashboard.

Subsequently, a function that allows synchronising NIN with Bank Verification Number (BVN), Tax Identification Number (TIN), International passport, and Driver’s License Number would be included. In addition to this, the app can be used to verify another person’s identity, however, this option is only available online and with a subscription.

This NIN-SIM linking process, however laudable, still has a number factors besetting total compliance within the given period of time. We provided answers to some of these concerns in this article.

According to another article, we cannot ignore the fact that a larger percentage of Nigerians haven’t been enrolled during the National ID registration process for the past eight years since it started.

Another concern raised is why some Nigerians cannot verify and retrieve their NIN through the USSD option, thereby having to join the teeming population already overcrowded at enrollment centres.

Besides, many people who have gotten their permanent ID card and no longer in possession of their registration slip containing the NIN are now put at a disadvantage since the physical ID card doesn’t have the NIN on it. A major point of interest, though, is why such important detail is missing on an equally important document.

With many issues left unresolved, January 19 appears to be a short time to achieve the expected mass enrolment and SIM linking.

As such development is coming four months after President Muhammadu Buhari handed over the affairs of the NIMC to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, it remains to be seen how soon the ministry will achieve a centralised database system for Nigerians. https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-in-america.php займ кемеровополучить займ наличнымизайм деньги на дом

Oluwanifemi Kolawole
Oluwanifemi Kolawole

Human enthusiast | Writer | Senior reporter | Podcaster.

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Uber’s bet on ‘Okada’

Uber’s bet on ‘Okada’

Today on #TechpointDigest, @nifemeah discusses Uber’s launching its motorbike hailing service, UberMoto, in Ibadan.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap