- In the wake of increasing violence in Nigeria, Isa Pantami has declared that the spate of kidnapping and banditry has reduced
- The minister of communications and digital economy, on Thursday, June 3, claimed that this was due to the introduction of the NIN
- Pantami said the policy making it compulsory for Nigerians to obtain NIN reduced incidents reported to the barest minimum
FCT, Abuja - The introduction of the National Identification Number (NIN) by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has substantially reduced incidents of banditry and kidnapping in the country.
The Punch reports that Dr. Isa Pantami, Nigeria's minister of communication and digital economy, made the claim on Thursday, June 3, in Abuja.
While giving an account of his stewardship since assuming office, Pantami said unregistered, and partially registered sim cards were being used to perpetrate crime in the country.
According to him, the policy compelling Nigerians to obtain a NIN has reduced to the barest minimum incidents of kidnapping and banditry from the end of September 2019 to 2020, Nigerian Tribune added.
He explained that there was a time that Nigerians could hardly spend one month or more without hearing stories about kidnapping.
The minister speaking further said before the introduction of the policy, people working in cahoots with a handful of agents of telecommunication officials engaged in illegally preregistering sim cards that were sold to criminal gangs to perpetrate crime.
Nigerians not mandated to submit IMEI numbers
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied asking Nigerians to submit their phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers.
A spokesperson for the commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement via its website on Friday, May 21, said reports claiming that the NCC mandated Nigerian phone users to submit their IMEI numbers were false.
The commission, however, stated that it would deploy the Device Management System (DMS) which will capture IMEI automatically without any requirement for subscribers to submit them.
Pantami bags outstanding minister of the year
Pantami had been conferred the most outstanding minister of the year award. In a post by the ministry on Facebook, the award was in recognition of the laudable policies developed under him.
The post listed the NIN–SIM Data linkage, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria as reasons why the award was conferred on him.