- The minister of digital economy, Isa Pantami, has clarified the allegations against him
- Pantami explains why he is being targeted by the malicious allegations
- The official insisted that the NIN registration is here to stay
The minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has said allegations that he has links to extremists are lies.
Pantami told Premium Times in an exclusive interview on Friday, April 16, that the allegations were being spread by people who are unhappy that the government is linking National Identification Number (NIN) with telephone SIMs.
“I have no doubt about this. It has to do with the National Identification Number. Do you know one thing? This policy was started in 2011, it was not successful. Why? It was fought.’’
He claimed that some forces are determined to stop the policy of compulsory national identity registration for all Nigerians and those residing in the country.
The minister said:
… In 2015, it came up, it was not successful. In 2018 there was a time that there were meetings between government and mobile network operators. And it was actually announced that by the agreement with government, the deadline was January 2018. It is there online, I will share it with you if you like. By January 2018, it was not implemented, because there are forces against it. There are forces!''
Pantami explained that the NIN registration is not only meant for Nigerians.
“Now they have started coming with the news that people are coming from neighbouring countries to register.
“What they fail to understand is that the National Identification Number is not only for Nigerians; anybody in Nigeria can obtain it.''
The minister stated that he would not allow the attacks on him to distract him from his job.
Some Nigerians have called on Pantami to step down from office after reports alleged that his Islamic preachings across northern parts of the country between the early and mid-2000s were extreme.
Meanwhile, the federal government has approved the activation of new SIM registration with a mandatory National Identity Number (NIN).
Nigerian Tribune reported that the approval is in line with the revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration.
Legit.ng gathered that the ministry of communications and digital economy said this in a statement signed by Femi Ademiluyi, a technical aide to minister Isa Pantami.
Source: Legit Nigeria