By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah |
The Federal Government has disclosed that more than 51 million Nigerians have enrolled for the National Identification Number.
This is even as it said there is no plan to lift the ban on new subscriber identification module (SIM) registration any time soon for security reasons.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this to State House correspondents stated at the ministerial briefing by the Presidential Media Team, at the Villa Villa Abuja.
According to him, when it comes to addressing the issue of security, the economy takes back stage, insisting that SIM registration carried out in the past compromised the system.
He said: “The ban on new sims remains in place for security reasons.
We know this ban is painful but very necessary. In the past, sims registration process were compromised, most of the sims were improperly registered hence we have most of the sims used to commit crimes in the country. So, what we are doing now is matching all the sims with NIN this has become necessary for security purposes.”
“The ban may affect our economy, but when addressing the issue of security, the economy takes back stage.
“People used the biometrics of one person to register about 100 sims, after people are given money, this is even as some SIMs were improperly registered.
“This is one of the most difficult decision taken as a Minister. It is a very painful decision, but we had to take it. Pantami also put the number of SIM card subscribers linked to NIN at over 150 million, adding however, that enrollment of NIN is 51 million, as at 31st March, 2021.
He explained that while 150 million are completed registration the remainder have problems of improper registration, warning that those yet to obtain their NIN, risk seven or 14 years imprisonment as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution.