Minister of Communications, BOSUN TIJANI reacts to alleged NIMC data breach

Friday, June 28, 2024 
Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, announced that the federal government is conducting a thorough investigation into alleged breaches in the national data system.

 In a statement posted on his X handle, Tijani mentioned that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the National Data Protection Commission (NDPC) are leading the investigation.

 This response follows a report by Paradigm Initiative claiming that national identification numbers (NINs), bank verification numbers (BVNs), and other personal data of Nigerians were being sold on unauthorized websites for as low as N100.

 On June 22, NIMC denied any partnerships with websites such as,,,, and, and advised Nigerians against using these sites.

 In a separate interview, Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, revealed that his organization was able to purchase Tijani’s NIN slip for just N100.

 While Tijani did not confirm or deny the data breaches in his post, he assured that the agencies "are on top of the matter." He said in a statement; 

 "ON NIN SLIPS BEING PURCHASED FOR N100 First, I have engaged my colleague, the Minister of Interior, who supervises the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and I am aware that his ministry and the agency are on top of the matter. Second, the @ndpcngr, a year-old agency under my supervision as minister, has over the last few months created data compliance mechanisms for all MDAs and has since started a thorough investigation as to the circumstances surrounding this alleged breach. 

"Having established that, I do believe that it is important to share the proactive steps I have taken upon appointment to help strengthen technology application in government, despite the historical siloed approach to procurement and development. For context, in October 2023, a few weeks after my appointment, I released a whitepaper (which you can find here -, elucidating my position on technology application within the public service and our proposed approach to leveraging existing investment in technology to accelerate economic prosperity through improved government processes. 

"While some may not have recognised the relevance of that publication, it has shaped our approach and activities towards strengthening the use of technology in government while protecting the nation and our citizens. The very last paragraph of the whitepaper speaks clearly to how our approach will address and mitigate against issues around data breach and make our systems secure. Since the release of that document, we have initiated the following:

  Presentation to kick off an alignment with all permanent secretaries highlighting the importance of a structured Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) approach and the need for Data Exchange across MDAs to strengthen Nigeria’s cybersecurity oversight for critical DPI 

A 2-day workshop with Directors of ICT across all MDAs to enlighten and initiate a plan to strengthen DPI in Nigeria Launched the #DevsInGovernment - a community of practice for all civil servants responsible for technology within the government which serves as a platform for enlightening and securing buy-in across the ICT cadre. 

Launched the Responsible Data Management Course for Civil Servants (a partnership between the NDPC & Datadotorg) to improve on data handling and protection across government institutions. 

Workshop with the Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure, to assess the status quo and agree on an implementation roadmap for DPI in Nigeria. 

Conducted deep dives and knowledge exchange workshops on DPI and data exchange with Finland & Estonia as part of the design process for our Data Exchange System.

" Finally, we have submitted a request for a Presidential declaration to enable us to align all MDAs behind our goal to implement a data exchange system in Nigeria. We anticipate that by the end of the year, the initial pilot of the system should be in place and cover a minimum of 5 MDAs with oversight for supporting Nigerians through critical “life events” I share this update to encourage Civil Society Organisations and those interested, to read the Whitepaper and engage with us as we strengthen our DPI."

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