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Amid fears of breach, NIMC denies third party access to database



The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has refuted claims of a data breach following an investigative report alleging unauthorized access to citizens’ National Identification Numbers (NINs) by a private firm, XpressVerify.

In a statement released on Sunday, NIMC Director-General Abisoye Coker-Odusote assured Nigerians that “Citizens’ data is safe and secure in the Nigeria’s National identity database.” The NIMC clarified that it only offers NIN verification services through licensed partners and that XpressVerify is not one of them.

The controversy stems from a report published on March 16 by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). The report alleges XpressVerify had unrestricted access to the national identity database, allowing them to monetize citizen information.

The NIMC statement expresses gratitude to whistleblowers and media outlets for bringing the matter to their attention. They have reportedly initiated an internal investigation and are cooperating with the National Data Protection Commission (NDPC) which has launched its own probe.

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However, Coker-Odusote said XpressVerify “is not one of the Commission’s licensed partners”.

“We express our gratitude to our media partners and the whistleblowers for bringing this to our attention and wish to assure Nigerians and legal residents that there is no data breach of any sort and the Citizens’ data is safe and secure in the Nigeria’s National identity database,” the statement reads.

The NIMC boss further assured of the agency’s commitment to data protection and privacy, stating that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring the safety and security of the data of all enrollees.

“Top-level security is in place to protect the NIN and other personal data of every citizen and legal resident.

“NIMC reaffirms its unwavering dedication to safeguarding, securing, and responsibly managing the data entrusted to us”, Coker-Odusote said.

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