The federal government has warned that a seven to fourteen years imprisonment awaits any Nigerian who fail to enroll for the nation identity number (NIN).
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami who disclosed this at the weekly Presidential Media briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Media Team in Abuja on Thursday noted that the NIN registration exercise for is compulsory for all and not optional.
Recall that a court in Lagos had barred the Nigerian government from blocking SIM CARDS of Nigerians not linked to NIN on April 6, However the federal government while reacting to the court order disclosed that it decision on the matter would be made public soon after stakeholders meeting
Pantami revealed that 51 million Nigerians have enrolled for the National Identification Number as of March 31, 2021.
While encouraging Nigerians to enrol for NIN, the minister warned that “those yet to obtain the NIN risk seven or 14 years imprisonment” as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution.
He also said while obtaining a SIM card may be optional, NIN is mandatory, noting that a lot of transactions in the country are not supposed to be carried out without NIN.
In his statement, he said, “Based on the requirement by law each and every citizen and legal resident must obtain his/her National Identification Number, which is being coordinated by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). It’s a requirement by law but many citizens ignore it.
“What we achieved in the area of enrolment from the time Mr President has directed me to supervise NIMC till date is unprecedented and we would continue to ensure that in the next few years we have an almost a complete data base of all our citizens in the country.
“No country will be successful in education, health, budget planning or national planning without data base of its citizens in place.
“What I inherited in the database was less than 20 per cent of our population. But we want to ensure that before we leave office we would look at the database and be proud of our country.”