The Federal Government, on Thursday, warned that Nigerians without the National Identification Numbers (NINs) risk jail terms of between 7 and 14 years and may also be deprived of social services.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, stated this in Abuja, even as the number of registered sim users hover above 150 million, with only 51 million enrolled into the NIN data as of March 31, 2021.
He clarified that Muhammadu Buhari had no plan to lift the ban on registration of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) anytime soon, citing security concerns.
The minister explained that recent security issues make the enrollment paramount as other attempts in the past were compromised.
However, the minister on his verified Twitter handle released a series of the tweet saying he was quoted out of context, “Pantami has not mentioned 14 years imprisonment. But said NIMC has been 14 years in existence, since 2007. Since the session has been recorded by journalists, it is better to release the video for the public to listen to it, please. Best wishes!”
He had said: “The NIMC Act Clause 27 states that you need the NIN for the opening of bank accounts, insurance, land transactions, voter’s registration and driver’s licence.
“So, it is an offence to transact any business activity without first having your NIN.”