Nigeria’s Data Regulator Investigates Alleged NIMC Breach

March 18, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) is investigating allegations of unauthorised access to the personal data of enrollees in the database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

This was disclosed by Mr Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner of the data regulation body in a statement signed by Head of Legal, Enforcement and Regulations, NPDC, Mr Babatunde Bamigboye on Monday.

He said the investigation is a further regulatory measure to be taken by the commission in the wake of public concerns over reports of illegal access, to the personal data of enrollees by a shadowy entity called

It would be recalled that before now, NDPC has been engaging with NIMC on fostering adequacy of data protection.

To this end, NDPC said that it held a training with relevant officers of NIMC in early February 2024, as a measure being put in place by the Federal Government to ensure data privacy and protection.

“We note that NIMC has initiated an internal investigation and it has immediately given full assurances of cooperation with NDPC to get to the root of the allegation and to review existing mediums through which any entity may lawfully verify the identity of enrollees on its platform.

“Furthermore, NDPC will work with relevant agencies to audit the trails of the alleged unauthorized data processing and monetization of same, and those who are found culpable for violating the Nigeria Data Protection Act, 2023 will be brought to justice,” the statement said in part.

The National Commissioner further directed that preliminary findings of the investigation should be made public within seven days.

Meanwhile, 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, Mrs Abisoye Coker-Odusote assured Nigerians that “Citizens’ data is safe and secure in 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 arose from a report published on March 16 by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). The report alleged that XpressVerify had unrestricted access to the national identity database, allowing them to monetize citizen information.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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