NIN: Why Nigeria may miss the World Bank’s enrollment target of 148 million National Identification Numbers

There is strong evidence that Nigeria may not meet the World Bank’s target of 148 million registrations for the National Identification Number (NIN) by June 1, 2024. This is even if the country has reached 58% of the target by July 7, 2022.

The target was set for Nigeria under the Bank’s Digital Identification for Development (DI4D) project, which aims to increase the number of individuals enrolled in NIN from 36.89 million on October 11, 2019 to 148 million on June 1, 2024. Part of the DI4D targets also includes the enrollment of 65 million women and girls and 50 million children under the age of 16 by that date.

With a $430 million pledge from the Bank, the country has been able to grow its NIN database by 48.7 million in the past 3 years. This was achieved through several policies, including mandating the NIN for students writing JAMB exams, mandating it for the issuance or renewal of an international passport and driver’s license, and mandating the NIN to SIMs by all telecommunications subscribers.

Why Nigeria might miss the mark

  • It is now a few weeks less than 2 years until the June 1, 2024 deadline, and according to the July 7, 2022 enrollment figure, which was 85.59 million, according to data from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria must enroll 62.4 million more Nigerians in the NIN between now and June 1, 2024.
  • After 48.7 million enrollments in the last 3 years with all the new policies, expansion of local enrollment centers and establishment of Diasporan enrollment centers, it may be difficult to reach 62.4 million in less than two years.
  • In 2021, the database grew by 28.7 million, bringing the total number of registrations in December 2021 to 72.7 million from 44 million in December 2020. The huge increase was the result of the NIN-SIM policy announced in December 2020.
  • This year, 12.89 million have been added to the database so far.
  • With the enforcement of the NIN-SIM pairing deadline and the blocking of unpaired SIM cards in April, many affected telecom subscribers had since signed up for the NIN to unblock their SIM cards.
  • Most enrollment centers now have fewer daily visitors for NIN registration.

What you should know

  • The DI4D project is being financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $115 million and co-financing of $100 million from the French Development Agency and $215 million from the European Investment Bank.
  • According to the World Bank, which facilitated the loans and monitored the project, IDA had released its $115 million pledge on September 30, 2020.
  • In a review of the project in March this year, the World Bank had described the overall progress of implementation as ‘unsatisfactory’. According to the ‘Deployment Status Report’, in terms of the overall progress of project implementation, the country went back from ‘moderately satisfactory’ in its previous assessment to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ in its latest assessment.
  • In terms of progress in meeting the project objectives, the country also slipped from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderately satisfactory’. However, the bank set the Overall Risk Rating of the project at ‘Moderate’.

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