NIN not Compulsory For Voters’ Registration - INEC

We can’t single that out and make it mandatory
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Press Conference by Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on recommencement of Continuous Voter Registration Nationalwide at INEC's Conference Hall Headquarters Abuja on Thurdsay 1st April, 2020

Summary

The use of the National Identification Number for Continuous Voters' Registration would not be allowed, according to Mahmoud Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Electoral Act accepts birth certificates, national passports, and national identity cards as documents for voter registration, he told journalists at a press conference.

According to him, the National Identification Number (NIN) is one of several options available to Nigerians for verifying their age, identity, and nationality, and it cannot be made mandatory.

Yakubu stated,

“The NIN is not going to be mandatory for the simple reason that we are operating on the basis of the law establishing INEC. Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists the means of identification to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of registration.

“These includes, birth certificate, national passport, national identity card, or any other document that will prove the identity, age, and nationality of the applicants. The NIN is only one of the means of identification provided for under section 10 (2) of the Electoral Act.

“We can’t single that out and make it mandatory. All the other requirements are requirements of the law and we must apply the law equally. Yes, if you have your national ID card, you can present it during registration but we will not make it mandatory means of identification for the exercise.”

According to Yakubu, the registration process will last for more than a year, until the third quarter of 2022.

The commission announced earlier this year that the exercise would begin in the first quarter of 2021.