The Federal Government has disclosed that over 51 million Nigerians have so far enrolled for the National Identity Number (NIN).
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami made the disclosure on Thursday during a briefing organised by the Media department of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Pantami, at the weekly briefing, however, warned that Nigerians risked between seven to 14 years of imprisonment as prescribed by the constitution if they failed to obtain the NIN registration, adding that government would not allow citizens to enjoy services without an identified number.
Further, the Minister explained that while obtaining a SIM card may be optional, NIN was mandatory, saying that many of the transactions conducted in the country were supposed to be done with NIN.
Pantami added that NIN will determine the accurate number of Nigerians because of its uniqueness and tamper-proof quality, contrary to population census that is susceptible to manipulation.
“Based on the requirement by law each and every citizen and legal resident must obtain his/her National Identification Number (NIN), 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 complete database of all our citizens in the country.
“No country will be successful in education, health, budget planning or national planning without database of its citizens in place.
“What I inherited in the database was less than 20 percent 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,’’ he said.
The minister also announced that about 189 million Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) have been registered in the country.
Of this number, 150 million are completed registration while the remainder has problems of improper registration.
He said the improper registration has posed a challenge, but stated that the government was currently dealing with the situation.