Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has said he received death threats over the implementation of the National Identity Number (NIN) and SIM registration in the country, Daily Trust reports.
Pantami disclosed this at the fourth annual Identity Day commemoration, celebrated every September 16. The programme was organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Friday in Abuja.
The minister, who lauded the growth recorded in the NIN registration exercise, said about 90 million Nigerians have been captured in the NIMC data base so far.
“We can only get our digital economy right when we continue to improve and encourage our citizens to enroll in our national data base. When we commenced the process, many people turned against me. nMy life was threatened because of the introduction of NIN and sim registration on BBC radio and many more and I resisted believing that nobody can control my life in this world, only Almighty God.
“We resisted and now the process is working. Sometimes, I can stay for one month without speaking to NIMC and there is no any problem. Today, most of our citizens that were fighting are now silent. Looking back from three years ago, the National Identity Management Commission had managed under challenging conditions, to achieve an enrollment figure of nearly 90 million enrollments for the country.
“By the time I took supervision of NIMC, the total number of registration centres were not up to 1,000 but today, we have over 50,000. Today our national data base is on auto drive. We have established over 19 national policies and all of them are being implemented. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria,” the minister said.
In his welcome address, the NIMC Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, said for this year’s Identity Day commemoration, NIMC is partnering with the traditional rulers and traditional institutions all over the nation to raise awareness on the need for NIN registration and usage.
“Without sounding immodest, NIMC has made great strides on so many fronts in the last three years. From just over 1,000 enrolment centres and 2,000 enrolment devices across the country, NIMC in partnership with its licensed enrolment partners now has over 15,000 enrolment centres and over 29,000 enrolment devices deployed nationwide.
“This is one of the reasons enrolments have increased tremendously with over 89 million NINs generated successfully. On the international level, NIMC today has diaspora enrolment centres in over 40 countries, with more centres and countries scheduled to be added in the coming months. This gives Nigerians in the Diaspora opportunities to enroll and have their national identity even while outside the shores of Nigeria.
“The more government knows the accurate number of its population and the right demographics, the better the government is placed to plan well for infrastructure, social welfare, and economic development for the country,” he said.
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