No cause for panic over SIM card deactivation ─NIMC

*The National Identity Management Commission Adequate discloses the Nigerian Government had approved licensing of over 200 institutions to carry out enrolment” of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the Commission

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the recent directive to Nigerian telecom firms (telcos) to the effect that they stop further activation of Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) cards in Nigeria, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said that there is no cause for panic in connection with the two-week deadline for deactivation of SIM cards not currently linked with consumers’ National Identity Numbers (NINs) in the country.

NIMC Thursday, December explained that adequate arrangements have been made to capture the data of 200 million Nigerians within the next five years.

According to the Commission, steps taken so far to ensure that all subscribers have NIN in their SIM cards are meant to address the security challenges facing the country.

The Commission also said the telecommunication operators would be involved in the exercise.

Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Spokesman of NIMC, said the government had approved licensing of over 200 institutions to carry out enrolment” of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).”

NIMC said the initiative was aimed at addressing the bottlenecks associated with the capturing of citizens data by NIMC.

That the method would increase the enrolment centres from the current 1,000 to 10,000 across the country.

The NIMC is desirous of scaling up its assignment to regulatory functions after the completion of the exercise.

However, the NIMC Spokesman explained in a statement that the licensed agents were approved after successfully fulfilling all the conditions in the advertised Expression of Interest (EOI) which was done in 2019 as a first step towards the takeoff the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.

The breakdown of the successful licensees, the Commission noted, shows that 16 state governments were licensed, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Sokoto and Zamfara states.

Adegoke added: “The public sector institutions licensed are the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Pension Commission, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc).

The National Population Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Joint Tax Board and Nigeria Postal Services.”

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