FG Threatens 14-Year Jail Sentence For Nigerians Without NIN

The minister for communications in Nigeria has warned Nigerians without the National Identification Number could be facing a 14-year jail sentence.

In an address centred on encouraging Nigerians to register for their NIN, Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami, reiterated the fact that no country could be successful without a reliable database of its citizens.⁣

Pantami said those who fail to obtain their NINs and link them with their mobile numbers, risk 7 or 14 years behind bars as stipulated in the nation’s constitution.⁣
The deadline for all Nigerians to integrate their NINs with their phone numbers is April 6, 2021.⁣

The NIN registration deadline was previously given as February 9, 2021, from previous deadlines of December 30, 2020, and January 19, 2021, respectively.⁣
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Addressing the press at the weekly media briefing at the State House in Abuja, Pantami also announced that as of March 31, 2021, 51 million citizens had been enrolled for NIN.

“Based on the requirement by law, every citizen and the 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.⁣

According to the minister, only 150 million out of the 189 million mobile phone subscribers have completed their NIN linkage, while the rest have problems of improper registration.⁣

Recall compulsory registration for the National Identification Number began in December amidst backlash from well-meaning individuals in the country. The opposition was based on the likely spread of the coronavirus due to excessive crowds at the registration centres during a time of a reported third wave of the virus.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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