NIN-SIM: Defamation campaigns were launched against me – Pantami
Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, claims that the National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) linkage policy has put his life in danger.
He made the remarks on Friday at an event held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Pantami, who highlighted some of the benefits of the integration exercise, stated that many criminally inclined individuals criticized him for driving the policy’s implementation.
Aside from the threat to his life, the minister hinted that defamation campaigns were allegedly launched against him in order to put a stop to the policy.
The event was held to mark the fourth National Identity Day, with the theme “Traditional Institutions as Critical Stakeholders for Citizens Mobilisation.”
A number of stakeholders were present, including Aliyu Aziz, Director-General / Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Aziz, who gave the event’s welcome address, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the commission’s assistance throughout his presidency.
“The President’s support for NIMC demonstrates the importance he places on digital identity,” he said.
“He may not be physically here with us today on this occasion of the fourth edition of Nigeria’s commemoration of Identity Day, but it was the approval Mr President gave in 2019 for every 16th September to be officially marked as Identity Day in Nigeria that provided the platform for today’s ceremony.”
The NIMC chief also thanked the communications minister for being at the forefront of spearheading the commission’s programs.
He stated that the transfer of NIMC to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has improved and strengthened the commission’s fortunes.
The Herald had reported in July, 2022 that the House of Representatives had urged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to redesign the national identity card to reflect the National Identity Number (NIN).
The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Fredrick Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) at the plenary on Wednesday.
Motion on the need to have National identity number displayed on the National Identity Card
Moving the motion, Agbedi said that the NIN is used by government of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent and temporary residents for the purposes of work and so on.
Also aware that the number is issued and managed by NIMC, established to manage Nigerians identity in government institutions, register individuals and introduce general multipurpose cards.
“The NIN which matches with your biometrics, is said to be used for virtually all transactions in Nigeria requiring identity verification.
“Recently the commission started issuing the digital ID cards which displays only the name, age and Nationality of the older ID card.
“The commission failed to include the NIN to the ID card and it has brought untold hardship to the citizens in a bid to retrieve their NIN via short codes provided by telecommunications providers to pay for services,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker of the house, Rep. Ahmed Wase mandated the committee on Interior to ensure compliance.