The National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, on Thursday said that there is no cause for panic over the two-week deadline to deactivate Subscribers Identity Module, SIM, cards that are not linked with users’ National Identity Number, NIN.

NIMC explained that it has made adequate arrangements to capture the data of 200 million Nigerians within the next five years, adding that the steps taken so far to ensure that all subscribers have NIN in their SIM cards are meant to address the security challenges facing the country.

Insisting that the telecommunication operators would be involved in the exercise, NIMC spokesman, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, said that government has approved licensing of over 200 institutions to carry out enrolment “of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database, NIDB, on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC.”

He averred that the initiative was aimed at addressing the bottlenecks associated with the capturing of citizens’ data by NIMC; adding that the method would increase the enrolment centres from the current 1000 to 10000 across the country.

Maintaining that the NIMC is desirous of scaling up its assignment to regulatory functions after the completion of the exercise, Adegoke, however, explained in a statement that the licensed agents were approved 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 the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.

He said that the 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.

He added, “The public sector institutions licensed are the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; National Pension Commission, NPC; Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc; National Population Commission, NPC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC;, Joint Tax Board and Nigeria Postal Services.”

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