President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria needs to get the ongoing linking of subscriber identification module (SIM) to National Identification Number (NIN) right in order to tackle the country’s security challenges frontally.
Spokesman for the president, Mr. Femi Adesina said in a statement that Buhari made the declaration during the launch of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration held yesterday at the State House, Abuja.
The president said proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and ability to conveniently access a database will provide impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.
He called on Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronisation of the NIN with SIM cards across the country, saying it would provide a digital framework for improving security and strengthening of the economy.
“The NIN will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure. We will be able to easily identify and know the personality of Nigerians. We will identify people easily, including the crooks,’’ he said.
The President said the launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and would support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.
“The NIN is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services and will give government useful insights that will enable us to utilise scarce resources in a more efficient way,’’ he added.
He noted that the first National SIM Policy was launched in February 2020, and the revised policies were in full alignment with the objectives of the administration in the areas of economic development, security and anti-corruption.
“The digital economy sector has made significant progress and recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we expanded the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include the digital economy mandate.
“The Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“The sector’s 14.70 per cent double digit growth rate played a principal role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the sector exceeded four times the next fastest growing sector of Q4 2020, ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 per cent. This is truly commendable,’’ the President added.
The president said the digital economy sector provided online options for activities that were hitherto restricted to offline channels, while minimising the disruption to activities of both public and private sectors, and reducing cost of meetings.