The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have assured the public that their National Identification Number (NIN) requested for the Electronic Central Motor Registry (ECMR) was in safe hands.

Lagos Police Commissioner, Adegoke Fayoade gave the assurance to The Nation when he was asked why the service was requesting people’s NIN, a private number that should be protected by the owner.

Nigerian Police Force (NPF)

He said the request was to aid in the investigation and recovery of stolen vehicles, explaining that the NIN was the unique number which all Nigerians are expected to have.

Fayoade clarified that the CMR process had been in existence since 1970 but was only recently introduced electronically so that individual vehicle owners could do the registration from the comfort of their homes or offices without visiting the police station.

He said: “The NIN is being asked on the ECMR, in order to link the number with the particulars of the owner of the vehicle. This is to assist in the investigation and recovery of stolen cars.

“You will agree with me that the NIN is one of the unique means of identification for each Nigerian and so, what we want to achieve is to ensure that every vehicle that is registered in this country can be traced to its owner through the NIN.

“Once you visit the ECMR portal, you will be asked to provide your name, NIN, passport number or driver’s license number before you can proceed.

“By providing any of these numbers, we have your system in our central database. So, when you register a vehicle it is linked to it. In case that vehicle is stolen and someone else wants to register it, it will alert the police and we can then go after the new person attempting to register the vehicle to provide it.

“There are many benefits to having your NIN linked to your particulars. So, Nigerians should know that their NIN is safe with the police.”

The Nation reports that many Nigerians have asked why government agencies were requesting personal data from individuals rather than synchronizing the various data collected for Driver’s Licence, International Passport, NIN and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), among others.

Many have wondered why the country was yet to have a central database for the storage of personal information of citizens and residents rather than having too many agencies collecting personal information from the masses with no guarantees on their data protection rights.

But sources yesterday told our Correspondent that retrieving personal data from any of those agencies for investigation was usually cumbersome for the police especially when it relates to car theft.

“It is usually a difficult process to get data from the FRSC. Most times information needed to investigate car theft is needed urgently so that the vehicle can be speedily recovered. That is why the police have reintroduced the CMR process and made it more efficient.

“It is a document that must be renewed annually and it is for all vehicles not just new ones. The good thing is that the amount paid for first-time registration is halved for subsequent ones,” said a senior police officer yesterday.

He advised Nigerians to visit the website and read the frequently asked questions to clear any doubts they might have.

A motorist who tried to register on January 26 without success shared his experience with our Correspondent.

He wrote: “I’ve been on the site now for over 30 minutes. I don’t think the site is really ready for this exercise. For more than 30 minutes now I have not received any token.

“I have tapped on the “call” button provided if you do not receive a token but it didn’t work. So I’m stuck at this point.”


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