NIMC uncovers syndicate selling fake NIN


The National Identity Management Commission on Friday said it had uncovered a syndicate of individuals posing as employees of the commission and issuing fake national identity numbers to unsuspecting Nigerians.

It said some suspects had been arrested and were undergoing prosecution with relevant security agencies.

The NIMC Director General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, disclosed this at a press briefing on Friday in Abuja, adding that the commission got wind of the issue after a customer complained that she had paid N120,000 to modify her birth certificate.

Odusote at the briefing also announced that over 107.34 million Nigerians had been enrolled into the NIN database as of May 2024 from the 104 million recorded in December 2023.

The NIN, a unique identifier assigned to each citizen, has gained prominence in recent years as the cornerstone of various government initiatives aimed at enhancing security, governance, and service delivery.

Detailing the mode of operation for the syndicate, the director-general explained that the individuals masqueraded as business vendors and operators of cyber cafes, crafting links for unsuspecting individuals, developing software, and fabricating fake NINs.

“This data doesn’t reach our server, resulting in numerous Nigerians falling victim to scams,” she added.

She said a further clampdown led to the discovery of a group of individuals around its annex office.

The NIMC boss, however, declined to disclose details on the number of persons being interrogated but assured that as soon as the investigation was concluded, they would be prosecuted for cybercrimes.

Odusote said, “I am going to speak on extortion, data breach, and privacy. When we carried out our investigations, we discovered that around NIMC’s offices, people were parading as business vendors and cyber cafes, creating links for unsuspecting persons, designing software, and generating fake NINs for people. This data does not come to our server and a lot of Nigerians have been scammed.

“We will not allow them to parade as if they are part of us and they are not. A lot of people have lost money through this method. There is a case I got at our annex office and a lady approached me telling me that she had been extorted of over N120,000 to modify her birth certificate, and the person who extorted her was not an NIMC employee.”

Meanwhile, Coke-Odusote said efforts had reached the advanced stage for ministries, departments, and agencies of government to harmonise their identity database with the NIMC for the country to have a central identity database.


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