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TheCable

NIN verification platform very slow, says Telcos union — but NIMC says ‘working perfectly’

NIN verification platform very slow, says Telcos union — but NIMC says ‘working perfectly’
February 10
18:12 2022

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) says its tokenisation platform for verification of national identification number (NIN) is working “perfectly fine”.

Kayode Adegoke, NIMC head of corporate communications, confirmed the development to TheCable on Wednesday night.

The NIN tokenisation, better known as virtual NIN (vNIN), is an alternative for citizens to use when digitally verifying their identity with an agent or enterprise.

Over the weekend, the commission had announced that its NIN verification service (NVS) was temporarily unavailable due to maintenance by one of its network service providers.

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The technical difficulty has affected telecommunication companies, banks, and government agencies such as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), who rely on the service to verify the NIN of their customers before attending to them.

According to Adegoke, the verification process has been made easy with tokenisation.

He explained that the virtual NIN can be generated via the NIMC mobile app.

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He added that people without digital mobile devices and those who have lost their SIM can also generate a virtual NIN via USSD code.

“It (tokenisation) is working perfectly fine now. We have consistently offered top-notch identity services to Nigerians and legal residents, and we will continue to do so,” Adegoke said.

However, Gbolahan Awonuga, head of operations, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), told TheCable on Thursday that the tokenisation system for verifying subscribers had been very slow, and fraught with challenges.

“It’s a slow process. There are some challenges. Some areas, it will work and in some, it doesn’t. The number of verification that’s supposed to be done is not what we are achieving,” Awonuga said.

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Also speaking on the development, Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman, appealed to subscribers not to panic, adding that services would be restored soon.

“The use of tokenisation is ongoing for NIN verification, and we are working closely with NIMC and other critical stakeholders to resolve the problems,” Adebayo said.

“We are one ecosystem and pulling together to resolve all issues around the outgate: we appeal to subscribers not to panic, to please bear with us as verifications are been done via the alternative channels.

“Full restoration of service will be in a few days.”

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TheCable understands that the glitch affecting the NIMC’s verification portal was caused by a technical problem with the hosting service platform of Galaxy Backbone.

Galaxy Backbone, the government agency which provides ICT services for NIMC, had assured that it was working hard to resolve the portal breakdown.

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“The management of Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) regrets the temporary outage of some of its services and the inconvenience being experienced by some of its customers across the country,” the statement reads.

“Across the organisation, the highest priority classification has been assigned, and all hands are on deck to ensure resolution is achieved within the shortest possible time.

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“At the time of this press statement, GBB has put together a highly-skilled technical team of experienced Engineers and Applications experts to not just solve this current issue but put in place all the necessary structures to ensure that such an incident never occurs again in the future. While a good number of the services have been restored, efforts are being made to restore all the other services of its customers.

“In the meantime, and since this incident occurred, GBB has continued to notify and reach out to all its valued customers and will continue to do so to provide the necessary updates required until all the services affected are completely restored.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman.

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