President Muhammadu Buhari has encouraged Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronization of National Identification Number (NIN) with SIM cards across the country because it was designed to provide a digital framework for improving security as well as strengthening the economy.
The President stated this at the launch of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector as well as Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration in Abuja on Thursday, May 6.
He said “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.’’
President Buhari noted that proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and the ability to conveniently access a database will provide an impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.
“The launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and will support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.
“The National Identification Number is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens as well as legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services; and will also give government useful insights that will enable us to utilize scarce resources in a more efficient way,’’ he added.
According to him, 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 percent 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; the ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 percent. This is truly commendable,’’ the President added.
Buhari said the digital economy sector provided online options for activities that were hitherto restricted to offline channels; while minimizing the disruption to activities of both public and private sectors; as well as reducing the cost of meetings.
He assured that his administration was fully committed to the safety of Nigerians; and linking the SIM to NIN will significantly enhance security, aid in national planning and budget preparations.