Nigeria: NIMC Denies Claim Of Breach On Identity Database


The National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) has refuted reports that the country’s identity database has been hacked. 

The Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, claimed in a statement made on Tuesday, January 11th, that the organization’s computers had not been penetrated and that they are completely optimized at the highest international security levels as the guardian of Nigeria’s most significant national database.  

Aziz also stated that they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the country’s database is adequately secured and protected, particularly in light of recent cyber-attacks on networks around the world.  

He said; “Over the years, through painstaking efforts, NIMC has built a robust and credible system for Nigeria’s identity database. The Commission and its infrastructure are certified to the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System Standard which are revalidated annually.” 

The NIMC DG who also assured the public that it will continue to uphold the highest ethical standards in data security on behalf of the Federal Government and ensure compliance with data protection and privacy regulations added that the Commission does not use nor store information on the AWS cloud platform or any public cloud despite the usefulness of the NIMC Mobile App available to the public for accessing their NIN on the go. 

Aziz said the NIMC MobileID application has no database within the app, nor does it store information in flat files. According to him, the commission has made this app available to the public to reduce and eliminate any delay or challenge(s) in accessing one’s NIN. 

He added that: “The public should be aware that the possession of a NIN slip does not amount to access to the National Identity Database, but that the NIN slip is just a physical assertion of a person’s identity. Under the data protection regulations, no licensed partner/vendor is authorized to scan and store copies of individual’s NIN slips but rather authenticate the NIN using the approved and authorized verification platforms/channels provided. 

“As part of its policies to protect personally identifiable information stored in the National Identity Database, the public may recall that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy through NIMC launched the Tokenization features of the NIN verification service. This solution is to safeguard the personal data of individuals and ensure continuous user rights and privacy.” 

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