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False claim circulates online that NIMC has approved NIN self-registration


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A POST circulating on WhatsApp claims that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has approved a website for online National Identification Number (NIN) self-registration.

The NIMC is a Nigerian government agency that operates and regulates matters of national identity in the country.

The post, retrieved from a WhatsApp group on February 8, 2021, asks people to avoid unnecessary crowd at the NIMC centres and enrol online via a web link.

The post reads:

Federal Government has approved individual NIN registration online to avoid unnecessary crowd in the NIMC centers. Enroll Now.

THE CLAIM

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has approved online self-registration of National Identification Number (NIN).

THE FINDINGS

Checks by the FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

The FactCheckHub observes that the website attached to the claim has similar characteristics of phishing websites attached to claims previously debunked here and here.

The website attached to the claim is different from the official website of the NIMC.

The official website of the NIMC is nimc.gov.ng and it does not have provision for NIN registration.

It, however, has provision for pre-enrolment. This process involves filling details online using the pre-enrolment portal (penrol.nimc.gov.ng), and the summary page which has a 2D barcode is printed and taken to an enrolment centre.

To remove ambiguity as to what pre-enrolment means, the NIMC website includes a caveat:

It is important to note that the Online Pre-Enrolment is an initial step in the enrolment process. The enrolment is only completed after the applicant gets his or her biometric data (fingerprints, headshot photograph and signature) captured and processed by an Enrolment Officer at any NIMC Enrolment Centre.

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The website in the claim either seeks to fraudulently acquire people’s information or garner traffic as it prompts them to share links on WhatsApp groups.

For instance, the first page of the website asks people to input their full name and mobile number, while another page enjoins people to share the information with 15 friends or to 5 groups on WhatsApp.

To avoid falling victim to phishing websites,  here are some guides on how to fact-check broadcast posts shared on WhatsApp.

Kayode Adegoke, head of corporate communications, NIMC, has also confirmed to FactCheckHub that the claim is false.

Replying to the FactCheckHub’s enquiry via a telephone conversation, Adegoke says, “The website is fake.”

The FactCheckHub also observes that the NIMC has debunked the claim on its official verified Twitter Page.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the NIMC has approved online registration of NIN is FALSE. In addition, the website link shared in the claim looks fraudulent.

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