Tag Archives: NIN

Feb’22: Court adjourns NIN registration suit hearing again.

Advertisements

The lawyer is asking the court to declare that the respondents’ coercion of the applicant and Nigerians without themselves first complying with the COVID-19 guidelines is a violation of the fundamental right to life of Nigerians .

A Federal High Court Lagos on Monday, adjourned until Feb.22, a suit challenging the linkage of the National Identification Number (NIN) with Mobile lines amid COVID- 19.

The suit which was earlier fixed for hearing on Monday, could not proceed as the court did not sit.

Advertisements

It will be recalled that a rights activist Mr Malcolm Omirhobo had sued the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) alongside others over the instruction on citizens to link their NIN within a stipulated time frame.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); the DG NIMC, and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Other defendants are: MTN Nigeria Communications Plc; GLOBACOM Ltd; Airtel Networks Ltd (Airtel Nigeria) and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd, EMTS 9 Mobile.

The applicant who is suing for himself and on behalf of the Nigerian public, had brought his suit under the provisions of the fundamental rights enforcement rules enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

Advertisements

At the last adjourned date on Feb. 1, the plaintiff had told the court that in the midst of the prevailing Covid 19 pandemic it was too risky to proceed with the process, adding that further steps should be stopped, pending determination of the suit.

Justice Mohammed Liman had onsequently, ordered that all parties to the suit be served with the court processes while he fixed Feb. 15, to hear both the motion for interlocutory injunction as well as the substantive suit.

Advertisements

Meanwhile on Monday, a new date Feb. 22, is now fixed for the suit as the court did not sit.

The plaintiff wants the court to declare that Nigerians are entitled to the fundamental right to life, dignity of human person, right to private and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to moveable property.

The lawyer is asking the court to declare that the respondents’ coercion of the applicant and Nigerians without themselves first complying with the COVID-19 guidelines is a violation of the fundamental right to life of Nigerians .

Advertisements

According to him, the threat by the respondents to disconnect the telephone lines of Nigerians, who fail to link their NIN to their SIM cards within a timeline is a violation of the fundamental right to life of the applicant and Nigerians.

He argued that the directive led millions of Nigerians besieging the various NIMC offices nationwide in breach of COVID-19 protocols, while trying to comply with the said directives and in the process exposed themselves to the likelihood of contracting Corona virus.

Omirhobo, therefore, prayed the court to declare such decisions illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.”

He said that the directive to make the presentation of NIN a condition-precedent for the retrieval of lost and/or damaged telephone lines is a violation of the fundamental right of Nigerians and therefore illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Advertisements

He asked the court to make an order for the enforcement of the fundamental right to life, dignity of human person, right to private and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to moveable property of Nigerians

He is also praying the court to compel the respondents to resume the sale of new SIM cards, replace lost or damaged sim cards to Nigerians as well as issue a public apology to the applicant and the public.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Gov’t to cancel BVN, and replace with NIN.

Advertisements

NIMC database is the primary one in the country that each and every institution should make reference to.

The Federal Government plans to replace the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and other data collected by data collecting institutions with the National Identity Number (NIN), the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has said.

Pantami revealed this after monitoring the NIN enrolment process at telecom operators’ offices in Abuja on Monday.

Advertisements

“I Made a presentation to National Economic Sustainability Committee and I drew the attention of CBN Governor that we need to replace BVN with NIN because the BVN is a bank policy while NIN is a law because it has been established by law so the strength of the law wherever you go is not the same with a policy of one institution”, the minister said.

He said the NIMC database is the primary one in the country that each and every institution should make reference to.

He said: “On the board of NIMC, CBN governor is a member, DG DSS is a member, Chairman of FIRS is a member, INEC Chairman, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), National Population Commission and the Nigeria Immigration Service are all members of the board and this is to show you that it is primary database that every institution in the country should make reference to, when it comes to data protection regulations, we are in the forefront in Africa today”.

Advertisements

He said with NIMC database, the level of security is 99.9 percent.

According to him, there is no database that is 100 percent secured, “the highest you can go, I think we are there”.

He said FG came up with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation to guarantee safety of all data collected in the country.

He said: ” At our disposal, we take care of data and make sure that security is excellent and we don’t allow anybody to compromise with the content because it is a trust from our citizens given to us.”

Advertisements

Meawhille, at the MTN office in Maitama, Pantami was told that people who had enrolled before couldn’t have their data verified on the database, but the minister said the federal government was working to fix the issue.

“We are working on that, they are being verified but it is slow due to the high numbers of request. We are working on coming up with one verification and we do hope that the issue will be resolved soon”, he said.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Subscribers seek NIN-SIM linkage be extended to June 30.

Advertisements

They said government should use the extension for appraisal and give a fresh deadline, preferably June 30.

In Spite of the eight weeks extension for the registration, verification and linking of the National Identification Number (NIN) to Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards, subscribers have asked the Federal Government to further extend the deadline to June 30, 2021.

Subscribers, who spoke with The Guardian and those who gave their opinions through social media, applauded the Federal Government, but said further extension would enable more Nigerians to participate in the exercise.

Advertisements

Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, in a statement yesterday announced extension of the deadline by eight weeks to April 6, 2021.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who spoke at a meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration in Abuja, said the extension was to give Nigerians more time to integrate their NINs with their SIMs.

Advertisements

He revealed that mobile network operators have so far collected 56.18 million NINs, compared with the 47. 8 million the Technical Committee reported on January 18, 2021.

Reacting to the development, President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo commended Pantami for the extension.

Ogunbanjo, who said the association was in the process of instituting a legal case on February 8, against the Federal Government’s directive, however, said that might not be necessary for now.

Advertisements

Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and other stakeholders, particularly social media users, lauded the minister for the extension, saying however, that subscribers still seek an extension till June 30.

They said government should use the extension for appraisal and give a fresh deadline, preferably June 30.

On his part, the Nigeria Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Olusola Teniola, said the Federal Government was still looking for some 40 million Nigerians that have SIMs, adding that criminals would not register for NIN but would have SIMs or use foreign ones.

Meanwhile, the NIMC issued a disclaimer on those parading themselves as its agents, who extort people for NIN registration.

Advertisements

It said the NIMC did not engage the miscreants and fraudsters, neither do they represent the commission or any of its service segments.

It notified members of the public that it has not engaged any person, company or organisation to act as its consultant or agent to facilitate collaborations for the ongoing NIN enrolment.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Gov’t adjust NIN-SIM registration deadline again.

Advertisements

The extension was conveyed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

The Federal Government has extended the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) by eight weeks, Noble Reporters Media gathers

Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, who disclosed this in a message to our correspondent, said the extension was conveyed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Pantami conveyed the message during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which held on the 1st of February, 2021.

It said the new deadline is now April 6, 2021.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Feb. 15: Court fixes date to hear suit challenging NIN registration.

Advertisements

The applicant who is suing for himself and on behalf of the Nigerian public, brought his suit under the provisions of the fundamental rights enforcement rules enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

A Federal High Court Lagos on Monday, fixed Feb.15 to hear a suit challenging the ongoing process of linking the National Identification Number (NIN) with Mobile lines.

Justice Mohammed Liman fixed the date for notices to be served on all parties in the suit after the plaintiff Chief Malcolm Omirhobo had informed the court of his process.

Noble Reporters Media reports that Omirhobo sued the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) alongside others over alleged coercion on citizens to link their NIN within a stipulated time frame, without adherence to Covid 19 protocols.

Advertisements

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); the DG NIMC, and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Other defendants are: MTN Nigeria Communications Plc; GLOBACOM Ltd; Airtel Networks Ltd (Airtel Nigeria) and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd, EMTS 9 Mobile.

The applicant who is suing for himself and on behalf of the Nigerian public, brought his suit under the provisions of the fundamental rights enforcement rules enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

When the case was called on Monday, Omirhobo announced appearance as appearing in person, and informed the court of his ex parte motion as well as an affidavit of urgency attached.

Advertisements

He told the court that in the midst of the prevailing Covid 19 pandemic it was too risky to proceed with the process, adding that further steps should be stopped, pending determination of the suit.

Justice Mohammed Liman then. asked the plaintiff if he had any written document specifying the deadline for the registration and the plaintiff told the court that there were online publications to the effect that the new deadline extension was Feb. 9.

Advertisements

The court consequently, ordered that all parties be served with the processes and he fixed Feb. 15 to hear both the motion for interlocutory injunction as well as the substantive suit, while he struck out the ex parte motion.

The plaintiff wants the court to declare that Nigerians are entitled to the fundamental right to life, dignity of human person, right to private and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to moveable property.

The lawyer is asking the court to declare that the respondents’ coercion of the applicant and Nigerians without themselves first complying with the COVID-19 guidelines is a violation of the fundamental right to life of Nigerians .

Advertisements

According to him, the threat by the respondents to disconnect the telephone lines of Nigerians, who fail to link their NIN to their SIM cards within a timeline is a violation of the fundamental right to life of the applicant and Nigerians.

He argued that the directive led millions of Nigerians besieging the various NIMC offices nationwide in breach of COVID-19 protocols, while trying to comply with the said directives and in the process exposed themselves to the likelihood of contracting Corona virus.

Omirhobo, therefore, prayed the court to declare such decisions illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

He said that the directive to make the presentation of NIN a condition-precedent for the retrieval of lost and/or damaged telephone lines is a violation of the fundamental right of Nigerians and therefore illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Advertisements

He asked the court to make an order for the enforcement of the fundamental right to life, dignity of human person, right to private and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to moveable property of Nigerians.

He is also praying the court to compel the respondents to resume the sale of new SIM cards, replace lost or damaged sim cards to Nigerians as well as issue a public apology to the applicant and the public.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Feb. 9: Deadline for NIN registration, risky

Advertisements

Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the commission is not enrolling, but the network operators working with NIMC.

There are strong indications the Federal Government, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), may not achieve the National Identification Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) full linkage of mobile numbers in the country in the less than four weeks remaining to February 9, from now.

Findings by NoRM showed that about 95 per cent of the 173 Agents and 30 state government/public sector institutions licensed by NIMC to conduct enrolment of all persons, including legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the NIMC are yet to put anything in place for the exercise.

This development has further compounded the capacity of NIMC, whose 1000 enrolment centres spread across the country – inadequate to handle the process, and which necessitated the licensing of the agents – continued to witness a large daily turnout of Nigerians, who want to beat the February 9 deadline and avoid being cut off from the telephone networks.

The implication of this is that the deadline date for the completion of linkage of existing NIN with all SIM cards as directed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is not going to be feasible.

Advertisements

On December 15, 2020, the NCC, at the instance of the Minister, issued a statement ordering the suspension of the registration of new SIM cards by all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country while at the same time giving two weeks for persons with SIM cards to link them with the NIN or risk the numbers being suspended. The deadline was later extended by five weeks.

Aside from the challenges of procuring the equipment for enrolment from offshore vendors, which could take several weeks or months due to foreign exchange scarcity, clearance from the ports could pose another potential hurdle. This is in addition to the gaps in workforce training for handlers of the new equipment, among others.

Advertisements

The Director-General/Chief Executive of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, had last December explained in a statement that the agents were picked after successfully fulfilling all the conditions in the advertised expression of interest (EOI), which was done in 2019 as a first step towards the take-off of the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.

According to the statement announcing the licensees, a breakdown of the successful licensees shows that 16 state governments were licensed, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.

Prominent among the public sector institutions licensed are the NCC, the National Pension Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria (through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc), the National Population Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Joint Tax Board and Nigeria Postal Services.

Advertisements

Other public sector organisations issued licences include the Military Pensions Board, Abuja Enterprise Agency, the Corporate Affairs Commission, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services and National Commission for Refugees, the Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

The main mobile network operators in Nigeria, MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile are among the 173 private sector organisations licensed while Etranzact, VDT Communications, the Unified Payment Services were also successful.

Findings showed that Nigeria’s digital identity project is World Bank supported. Other international funding agencies supporting the Nigeria Digital Identity Ecosystem Project are the Française de Dévelopement (AFD) and the European Union (EU). The total combined loan facility stands at $433 million.

The project was one of the five approved by the World Bank on February 18, 2020, in Washington DC, the United States.

Advertisements

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, had said: “The World Bank is ramping up its support to Nigeria in its efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.”

According to the World Bank Statement: “This will enable people in Nigeria, especially marginalised groups, to access welfare-enhancing services. The project will also enhance the ID system’s legal and technical safeguards to protect personal data and privacy.

Advertisements

Around September 2019, there were reports that the World Bank was pouring $433 million (N1.5 trillion) in support into the NIMC to boost the NIN program, to enable the agency to register close to 100 million Nigerians over the next three years.

While NIMC awaits the World Bank facility, the process, The Guardian learned has started with the licensing of the 203 agents.

The ecosystem entails that if any of the agents enroll a person, and successfully generates a NIN from the NIMC backend, and issues, such an agent gets $1 per NIN.

Advertisements

“It is a performance-based system. That is, the more successful NINs, the more money for the agent,” a person familiar with the matter at NIMC disclosed, adding that the loan facility does not sit at NIMC, but with the Federal Ministry of Finance, which in turn will make the payment upon confirmation by NIMC of a successful generation of NIN by a licensed agent.
BUT findings showed that most of the agents, who were meant to ease the pains of Nigerians who have no NIN but desirous to quickly enroll to link their SIM cards, are not really ready for the task four weeks to the deadline.

An official of Globacom, who preferred anonymity said, “Globacom has not started anything.”

Speaking unofficially, a senior MTN staff, said: “The equipment to be used is not just sitting anywhere before now. We will just bring them in from abroad. I can say that none of the 173 firms can say they have started anything. It must also be mentioned that the budget for it was not part of the CAPEX for last year. But to show some seriousness on our part, we have started enrolment at some of our outlets using fixed Windows devices, and you can imagine how the process will be without the real equipment.”

The MTN official also denied claims that operators have started blocking SIMs: “nobody will do that. There is an extension, moreover, blocking of SIM is revenue loss to any operator,” he stated.

Advertisements

Speaking on the issue, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said there is a need to handle the matter very carefully.

“I feel so because, if the right decision is not made and information is not passed by the government and the government is led to take the wrong decision, it can destroy the good of the industry. So, at our level as a stakeholder, we are working with the government. We are on the Ministerial Committee.

Advertisements

“The advice to the government is, we should continue to thread with caution because telecoms today is the driver of the economy. If you put the subscribers at risk, a significant one for that matter, the risk is on the entire economy,” he stated.

Adebayo believed that such a challenge will also send wrong signals to investors and those, who may be willing to do business in Nigeria.

Of course, Adebayo said Nigeria deserves a reliable and credible national database, and the industry is committed to working with all the stakeholders to get this done.

Advertisements

Giving more insights on the matter, the Nigeria National Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) Olusola Teniola, reminded that the issuance of licences to these companies only happened less than four weeks ago, upon the completion of the long process leading to the issuance.

“We can work it out! When that meeting was held, they gave two weeks. We have passed two weeks, now in the first week of January, if all things being equal and there is no delay, we can consider that the equipment should be at the Port of Lagos, assuming there is a perfect situation in terms of logistic, and we also assumed that they have not been cleared. By the time they are cleared, add another week, by the time they are installed in the offices that the licensees want to use to capture, even the deadline of February 9 is at risk,” Teniola stressed.

According to him, even NIMC that has the equipment is not able to achieve the number it ought to capture in a week, “and we have COVID-19 the second wave happening right now, it reduces the capacity of capturing because you have to abide by COVID-19 guidelines, which means you have reduced a number of people you can actually capture, and with a reduced number of capturing across the country, FG will not achieve that date, logistically; we can capture the required factor, so it becomes the delaying factor. And as a delaying factor and in continuation with the policy that telcos should disconnect SIMs without NIN, there will be a huge impact on the economy. There is no sentiment in this; it is not going to work unless there is an extension.”

Adinde said from the report he gathered, NIMC on a daily basis is opening enrolment centres to fast-track the exercise.

Advertisements

On his part, the Head, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Frank Alao, said he was yet to get the details of the NIN exercise on the part of the organisation.

“I just resumed from leave today (yesterday). NIPOST is one of the NIN enrolment licensees. Let me find out from the Chief Operating Officer, I will get back,” he stated.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Gov’t moves ultimatum for NIN update

Advertisements

The Federal Government has extended the deadline issued to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number (NIN).

This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Gov’t set to make NIN compulsory for social services. [Nigeria]

Advertisements

According to a statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, the minister reiterated his commitment to ensuring that citizens effortlessly obtain secure digital identity.

The Federal Government is to make the National Identity Number (NIN) mandatory for Nigerians to access social services.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ibrahim Pantami, who dropped the hint yesterday in Abuja, called on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure a 500 per cent increase in monthly enrolment, translating from the current 500,000 to 2.5 million.

He commended NIMC’s Director-General Aliyu Aziz for his passion, noting that there had been considerable increase in enrolments.


#Newsworthy…

JAMB set to suspend NIN requirements


Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), announced yesterday that the National Identity Number (NIN) will no longer be a pre-requisite for candidates interested in registering for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) admission process.

It also announced a temporary suspension of its partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in the registration and issuance of NIN to candidates.


JAMB had, hitherto, made NIN a pre-requisite for registration for the 2020 UTME with a view to eliminate cases of impersonation as was recorded in 2019 UTME exercise.

Explaining the reason for the suspension, the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who addressed journalists in Abuja, yesterday said: “We had agreed that NIN would be a pre-requisite for registration for 2020 UTME which will commence on Monday (tomorrow). But there was public outcry on the frustrations and difficulties that candidates were subjected to before getting the NIN.

“We were forced to review our strategies and we arrived at a point that it was obvious that we could not go ahead with NIN as pre-requisite for registration because of the challenges that might affect the participation of large number of candidates.

“To this end, we have decided to suspend the use of NIN for 2020 UTME exercise. We have unanimously agreed to shift the use of NIN to 2021 when candidates must have been given enough time and opportunity to get the NIN. However, about 11, 000 of our staff, permanent and adhoc, that would participate in the exercise would still be required to submit their NIN for verification.”


#Newsworthy…

2020: Jamb suspends use of NIN for UTME/DE registration


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has suspended the compulsory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) for the registration of candidates for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry until 2021.

The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed this during a briefing at the headquaters of the board in Bwari, Abuja. According to him, the move was to provide more time for candidates to get their national identification numbers.

It was gathered that the decision to suspend the use of NIN for 2020 UTME registration followed criticisms from the public over the poor timing policy and the difficulty in obtaining the NIN by prospective candidates.

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede


With this development, candidates can now apply for the 2020 UTME/DE which is set to commence January 13, 2020 without NIN.

The date for the commencement of the JAMB examination remains March 14th, 2020.


#Newsworthy…