The s switch will return the rest of the line (excluding the first word). Use the w switch instead, and always use the n switch to prevent evaluation of the line unless you specifically need to. Prepend the $read alias with ! to negate its return value, so that the statements inside the block are run if the name is not found.

Also, .ini files have a specific formatting you aren't using. Just use .txt.

if (!$read(people.txt,nw,$nick)) {