Failure to register NIN is a punishable offence

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The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, on Thursday said that Nigerians without a National Identity Number (NIN) risk being jailed

The Minister stated this when he spoke at the weekly State House Press Briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.

He said it is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for a Nigerian to transact business like open a bank account, pay taxes among others without having NIN.

“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),” the minister said. “It’s a requirement by law but many citizens ignore it.”

“No country will be successful in education, health, budget planning or national planning without a database 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,’’ he added.

Mr Pantami also disclosed that 51 million National Identity Numbers have been fully enrolled.

The minister also said 189 million Subscriber Identification Modules have been registered in the country out of which 150 million registrations have been completed.

The others, he said, had issues of improper registration.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Lagos State has barred the Federal Government from blocking SIM cards not linked to National Identity Numbers next month.

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