Telcos Users Reject Digital Tokens Proposed By Pantami

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The Nigerian government’s plan to replace the National Identity Number (NIN) slips with digital suites by January 2022 has been slammed by telecommunication users under the auspices of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATS).

Instead of the 11-digit NIN, the digital token is made up of 16 letters and digits that will be approved for third-party verification.

Isa Ali Pantami
Isa Ali Pantami

Nigerians have expressed major reservations about the scheme, citing the difficulties they faced in obtaining the 11-digit NIN.

The action, according to Adeolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers in Nigeria (NATS), is unnecessary and cannot be carried out without sufficient consultation.

According to him, “Why can’t the FG engage stakeholders before coming up with this plan? It is a serious policy and they didn’t even engage stakeholders. Why can’t we do that? Until they discuss with all relevant stakeholders, and we look at the merits and demerits; they can’t impose this on us.”

According to Ogunbanjo, the order is coming almost a year after the Federal Government mandated citizens to link their SIMs to their NINs in a short period of time, causing many Nigerians to besiege registration centres. He noted that Nigerians have not recovered from the trauma of NIN registration and these digital tokens are too much in a hurry.

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