The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Nigerians against the sale of their National Identity Number (NIN) for monetary benefits.

The NIN is issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) upon enrolment into the National Identity Database and is used to capture an individual's records.

There's been a surge in the number of Nigerians registering for their NIN since the government announced in December 2020 that any mobile phone subscriber without a NIN will have their SIM cards blocked in a matter of weeks.

The EFCC warned in a statement on Thursday, January 7, 2021 that some fraudulent individuals are cashing in on the ongoing exercise to induce enrollees to sell their NIN.

The anti-graft agency said the buyers are also selling the NIN to other buyers who are likely to use it for criminal means.

The agency said it is illegal for Nigerians to sell their NIN, and that they stand the risk of indirect liability for any criminal activity linked to their NIN.

"In other words, they (Nigerians) risk arrest and prosecution for any act of criminality linked to their NIN whether or not they are directly responsible for such crimes," the agency said

EFCC appealed to Nigerians to report anyone seeking to buy their NIN to law enforcement agencies.

Millions of Nigerians are desperate to acquire their NIN before the February 9 deadline set by the government last year.