forces against NIN policy behind attacks against me
Communications and Digital Economy Minister Isa Pantami blamed forces at odds with the federal government’s mandatory policy to register a National Identification Number (NIN) for all Nigerians, and those in the country are behind the recent attacks on him.
Antami in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES denied all accusations against him, calling them “false”.
He also denied any links to extremist views, claiming that criminals and other “entrenched interests” were behind the attacks.
He said, “I have no doubt about it. This is associated with the national identification number. You know? This policy was launched in 2011 without success. Why? It was conducted
“… In 2015 it came out, it didn’t work out. There was a time in 2018 when there were meetings between the government and mobile operators.
“And it was actually announced that, by agreement with the government, the deadline is January 2018. It is posted online, I will share it with you if you like. As of January 2018, it has not been implemented because there are opposing forces. There are forces! “
Antami explained that NIN registration is not only for Nigerians, but can be obtained by anyone in Nigeria.
He said: “Now they have started coming in with news that people are coming from neighboring countries to register.
“They don’t understand that the national identification number is not just for Nigerians; anyone in Nigeria can get it.
Read also: I have nothing to do with Boko Haram – Pantami
“Articles 16 and 17 of the law mention persons who can be registered in the country: citizens, legal residents, legal permanent residents and legal residents for at least two years. So it’s not just for citizens. And it is also important to know that this is not just an indication that they are citizens of Nigeria.
“This is more of a sign that you have provided your biometric data, which is why the government controls your data.
“And this data is NIMC (National Identity Management Commission), no one has access to it in any way they like. Illegal access to it – 10 years in prison. This is in the law. But people will want to discredit him because they don’t like it. “
The minister added: “As long as it is carried out by the government, it will greatly contribute to the reduction of crime, and judging by the statistics that we are now observing, this is very encouraging.
“Our priority as a government is to protect the lives and property of our citizens. Security is our priority as a government, be it agriculture, digital economy, education or healthcare, whatever.
“President Muhammadu Buahari is so passionate about security and he advised me to do it because he knows that I try to persist despite the hardships and do what is right in the best interests of our citizens and humanity.”
“You know, as a government official, and at this level, if you say that everything scares you, you will not be able to do your job. You can’t do the job.
“I was with the Foreign Minister this week, April 12th. I was with the minister. I have been with ambassadors from the UK, USA, South Korea and many other countries.
“Even this problem that we are talking about based on our findings, preliminary research, many people are unhappy with what we are doing – linking the national identification number to the SIM card. Because there will come a situation where all the people who use the SIM card to commit crimes will not be able to do this.
“If they do that, the government can easily intercept them. They don’t want that. And this is the instruction given to me by President Muhammad Bukhari. He personally signed the letter that “you have been instructed to do this.”
“As his appointee, I have to do it or say that I cannot. So, since I am ready to serve my country, I must continue to do so to the best of my ability.
“So, during my meeting with them, they even encouraged me to push him to this and do it with great success.”
Source: – The Nation