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NIN registration crucial to combating insecurity, says Buhari

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President Mohammadu Buhari said the synchronisation of the National Identification Number (NIN) across the country was crucial to providing a digital framework to combat insecurity and strengthening the nation’s economy.

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Launching the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration, President Buhari, Thursday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to participate in the ongoing exercise.

He said proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and the ability to conveniently access a database will provide an impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.

“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,” Buhari said. “We will identify people easily, including the crooks.”

The President said the launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and will support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.

“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 utilize scarce resources in a more efficient way,” Buhari said.

Buhari noted that the first National SIM Policy was launched in February 2020, and the revised policies were in full alignment with the objectives of the administration in the areas of economic development, security and anti-corruption.

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“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,” Buhari said.

“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.

“The sector’s 14.70 per cent double-digit growth rate played a principal role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the sector exceeded four times the next fastest-growing sector of Q4 2020, ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 per cent. This is truly commendable.”

Buhari said the digital economy sector provided online options for activities that were hitherto restricted to offline channels while minimizing the disruption to activities of both public and private sectors and reducing the cost of meetings.

He stated that the National Policy for Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector was in line with the administration’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigerians become active participants in the different sectors of the economy, including the telecommunications sector.

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“The Federal Government embraced institutionalizing online meetings through the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions. As a result of this, we now have virtual Federal Executive Council, virtual Council of State and virtual National Economic Council meetings, among others, even though this development was triggered by COVID-19,” Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy appreciated the President for the continuous support to the telecoms sector, including regulators and operators.

The minister noted that the NIN Registration had recorded a huge success with 54 million Nigerians already captured in the process, adding, “within six months over 12 million enrolled.”

Dr Pantami said it was now possible to have virtual ID cards that can be used in various transactions, assuring that the NIN and Sim card registration for Nigerians and legal residents will cover 99.9 per cent.

He said the buoyancy of the telecoms sector had given Nigeria many leadership roles in international organisations, listing the impact on education, training, health and welfare of many, including the establishment of 600 computer centres, and a world-class sim card manufacturing company in the country.


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