Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has said Nigerians yet to obtain their National Identification Number (NIN) risk up to 14 years imprisonment as stipulated by the Nigerian constitution.

Pantami argued that while owning a SIM card is optional, the NIN is mandatory as a lot of transactions are not supposed to be carried out without NIN.

The Minister who spoke at a State House press briefing on Thursday, disclosed that 51 million Nigerians had registered for their NIN as of March 31, 2021.

He said there are 189 million registered subscriber identification module (SIM) cards in the country, out of which 150 million have complete registrations while the remainder have problems of improper registration.

The minister noted that NIN will determine the total number of Nigerians that have registered.

“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),” he 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.”