NIGERIAN ministers are planning to make the provision of a National Identification Number (Nin) compulsory for the acquisition of phone numbers as part of measures to combat terrorism and other forms of criminal activity.
Across Nigeria, the recent phenomenal growth in the telecommunications market has corresponded with use of mobile phones to commit all sorts of crimes. Terrorist groups like Boko Haram use mobile phones to communicate, while kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits use the devices to get their victims to transfer money to their accounts.
In a bid to combat the menace, it now illegal for phone companies to issue anyone a number without registering their name and address. Taking this a step further, government officials now one to make the use of the Nin another compulsory too, to allow the police to track users that use phones for criminal activities.
Interior ministry spokesman Mohammed Manga, said the Committee on Citizens Data Management and Harmonisation suggested the mandatory use of Nin’s by all mobile network operations for the issuance of subscriber identification module, known as Sim cards. Pointing out that this will take effect from June 30, 2021, Mr Manga added that the committee also recommended the exclusive storage of biometric data in the National identity Database.
In addition, the committee advised the discontinuance of biometric data storage of new registration by all agencies and institutions. Also, Nigeria’s National Population Commission is to commence the digital birth, death and other vital registrations including marriage, divorce, adoption, etc at its offices and all hospitals.