NIN Slips To be Replaced with Digital Tokens in Nigeria

The National Identification Number (NIN) is a set of unique numbers assigned to each individual by the National Identity Database (NIDB). All Nigerian citizens can acquire NIN for identity verification. It is also required to pay taxes, obtain a driver’s license and a permanent voter’s card, open a bank account, and any other transaction that requires national verification. The NIN should be carefully protected by its holder and not revealed, except to authorized authorities. 


The Nigerian Federal Government has revealed intentions of changing the 11-digit NIN with a 16-alpha numeric digital token starting from January 2022. It was also declared that verifying the 11-digit ID number in any organization is a punishable offense. Therefore, every organization is expected to only validate the 16- alphanumeric characters. The purpose of NIN tokenization is for data privacy via encryption. 

The vNIN is only valid for 72 hours and can be given by an ID holder who has enrolled on the NIMC MobileID app or through the USSD service. 


  • Dial *346*3*Your NIN*AgentCode# 
  • You will receive an SMS containing the vNIN generated for you 


  • Install the MWS mobile application on your device. 
  • Log in with your password to continue 
  • Choose the “Get Virtual NIN” option
  • Review the “Enhanced Data Privacy” content and click on the “+” sign to continue 
  • You would be granted two options; “Scan Enterprise QR code” and “Type Enterprise ID.” Choose one of the options to proceed. 
  • The vNIN will be created, and you are to present it for verification purposes. Note that the vNIN generated is unique to that enterprise and expires in 72 hours. 
  • You will receive a notification once verification is done. 

To What Advantage is the vNIN? 

  • It can only be issued by the NIN holder and expires after a short period. 
  • The token generated is not related to the NIN in any form. 
  •  It is encrypted 
  • It protects data privacy by restricting access to NIN to only its holder. 
  • The generated vNIN token can only be used for the enterprise it was generated for. 

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Photo credit: National identity Management Commission.  

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