Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said the National Identification Number enrolment process will be reviewed should the Federal Government impose a fresh lockdown amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, the ministry will meet with the National Identity Management Commission, and telecommunication operators once the government announces a fresh lockdown and will review the NIN linkage to SIM cards exercise.
Pantami spoke on Friday night while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
He said, “If a second lockdown is enforced, then, the ministerial taskforce including NIMC and all mobile network operators will sit immediately and review. The task force meets usually within one week.
“So, when there is a second lockdown, we are citizens, we must respect the Federal Government’s directives. When there is any announcement, we will come back to the drawing board immediately and review the whole thing. But now, it has not been announced and these (Covid-19) guidelines are to be respected.”
The minister also said the ministry and NIMC are working on transforming the NIN enrolment process and the onward linkage to SIM cards as required by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The Federal Government had said telcos subscribers with NIN have January 19 as deadline to link their NIN with their SIM cards while subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to do so.
As of October 2020, the total number of mobile network connections was 207.58 million, but currently, only 43 million Nigerians have NIN, thus 164 million telephone users are at the risk of being deactivated.