President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronisation of the National Identification Number (NIN) with SIM cards.
Buhari spoke on Thursday at the launch of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration in Abuja.
The president, who was presented with his “new improved NIN slip”, said registering for NIN will provide a digital framework for improving security and strengthening the economy.
He explained that proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country, and the ability to conveniently access a database, will provide the impetus for effective planning and security oversight.
He said: “The NIN will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure.
“We will be able to easily identify and know the personality of Nigerians. We will identify people easily, including the crooks.
“The National Identification Number is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services and will give government useful insights that will enable us to utilise scarce resour in a more efficient way.
“The digital economy sector has made significant progress and recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we expanded the mandate of the ministry of communications to include the digital economy mandate.
“The information and communications technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“Previous attempts have been unsuccessful due to a number of reasons, including sabotage. Our focused approach shows that this administration is dedicated to ensuring that we derive the benefits of a secure and robust digital identity system.’’
In his remarks, Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, said the NIN registration has recorded a huge success with 54 million Nigerians already captured in the process.
Pantami added that it is now possible to have virtual ID cards that can be used in various transactions.