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NIN is mandatory for voters registration, opening bank account, insist minister

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Isa Ali Pantami


ATCON Seeks Strategic Action To Bridge N15 Trillion Infrastructure Funding Gap In Telecom Sector

The Federal Government has insisted that the National Identity Number (NIN) is mandatory for transactions, including opening bank account, voters registration and payment of tax, among others, saying Section 27 of the NIMC Act stipulates that to partake and enjoy government services without NIN is an offence, punishable by fine or imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged government to develop a strategic plan to bridge the over N15trillion infrastructure funding gap in the telecoms industry.

Speaking when President of ATCON, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, led the newly elected National Executive Council members of the association on a visit to his office, yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Ali Pantami, stressed that NIN is the foundational identification for building a digital economy and is key to the national planning, budget planning, security and social development.

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The minister, while thanking the association for recognising the achievement recorded in NIN enrollment and its willingness to work with government to develop the sector, stated: “NIN is a mandatory number based on NIMC order of 2007, but has actively been neglected for years.

So, we have come up with so many policies trying to ensure our citizens obtain the number.

“It is important beyond SIM registration; it is important for whatever you do, because it is the primary identity of our citizens. There is no Identity that will define you are a citizen more than that number.

“It is mandatory for transaction, like opening bank account, paying tax, voters’ registration and many more. Section 27 clearly stated that even to partake and enjoy government services without that number is an offence. You must obtain before you engage the government in any business.”

He explained that Section 29 of the Act says anyone who fails to enroll and do transactions has committed a crime that would lead to imprisonment, adding: “We always ensure that citizens obtain it. The law only gives you 60 days to obtain from the time it was approved.”

On complaint that some states have not complied with the RoW policy, Pantami pledged to engage the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), and National Economic Council of the matter without compromising.

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Earlier, Nnamani said it has been identified that we have over N15trillion infrastructure telecom funding that is missing, noting: “We want to create a strategic plan to ensure that the sector is properly financed.”

Nnamani said various challenges plagued the industry for a very long time, but ATCON has seen positive developments since the minister’s interventions.

He commended the successes recorded in the ongoing enrollment for the NIN and the Right of Way (RoW) issues, pledging ATCON’s commitment to work with the minister to achieve his set goals.

He said the association would support the federal government in the full implementation of the 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan and appealed for full implementation of the RoW Policy and government to address multiple taxation and other regulatory challenges in the sector.

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