The federal government, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has introduced virtual National Identification Number (NIN) tokens known as “Tokenization”.
A statement by the commission explained that the NIN Tokenisation is to protect people's data privacy through di use of an encrypted, coded version of the NIN instead of the actual NIN which is used for everyday transactions.
The major goal of the NIN Tokenization, as simply explained by the NIMC's director-general, Engr Aliyu Aziz, is to protect the personal information of the NIN holders.
The use of tokens instead of the actual NIN will eliminate or reduce incidences of illegal retrieval, usage, transfer, and storage of NIN, the NIMC DG noted.
The Tokenization will also enable people who have NIN and are entitled to the National e-ID card to get visual and high-security representations of the National e-ID on IOS and Android smartphones.
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According to the NIMC DG, the full implementation of the Tokenization would commence Sunday, January 1, 2023.
NIN: What is Tokenization?
Tokenization is a set of digitally generated numbers (tokens) which NIN holders can generate anytime they need to identify themselves to service providers.
It is the encrypted, coded representation (disguised) version of the NIN and it's officially known as Virtual NIN (VNIN).
So, when performing transactions that involve using NIN, you can provide the tokens instead of your actual 11-digit NIN.
This is to ensure that service providers or any other person do not retain your NIN or use it for activities that can you at risk.
The Virtual NIN will expire 72 hours after it was generated. It consists of a 16-digit set of alphanumeric characters.
NIN: How does tokenization work?
You can use the Virtual NIN when you want to digitally verify your identity with a verifying agent or any enterprise that needs to confirm your identity before offering you service.
These include banks, airports, shopping delivery, etc.
NIN: How to get get the token
To have the token, you must get:
- National Identity Number (NIN) issued by NIMC
- Mobile phone registered in Nigeria and is linked to NIN
Benefits: Why you need NIN tokenization
Before the introduction of tokenisation, you must have shared your NIN with different service providers who in turn stored it, without your knowledge or the approval of NIMC.
Some of the service providers went on to use your NIN for other transactions without your knowledge or consent.
The NIN tokenisation will put an end to this because you will no longer need to submit your actual NIN but the token which will expire after 72 hours.
This will give you rest of mind, knowing that your data is protected anytime you use NIN tokens.
The use of NIN tokens reduces the chance of NINs falling into wrong hands or being exposed to criminals.
In summary, the NIN tokens ensure:
- Data privacy protection – access to your NIN by others will be more restricted
- The generated token is encrypted and totally opaque with no correlation to the actual NIN
- You, the NIN holder, are the only exclusive issuer of the token
- Generated tokens will expire after a specific period
- Virtual NIN tokens generated are merchant-specific. That is, a token generated for company A cannit be used by company B.
How to download, print new improved NIN slip as NIMC says current one will be gradually phased out
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the NIMC said the current NIN slip would be gradually phased out.
This was as the commission introduced a new slip which is downloadable from the NIMC portal.
You can print out and even laminate the Improved NIN Slip in plastic now and keep it as a handy physical means of identification that fits easily into your pocket, purse or wallet.