NIN/SIM Registration bill passes second reading

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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A bill for an act to make mandatory the use of the National Identity Number (NIN) in the registration of SIM cards by all mobile telecommunication network operators with the Identity Management Commission has passed for second reading at the House of Representatives.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, the sponsor Hon Sergius Ogun, said that though the Executive had already started the process of getting all users of mobiles phones to link their SIM cards to their NIN, the bill was necessary to give legislative backing to the measure taken by the Executive.

The lawmaker stated that the bill was the legislative contribution to the ongoing fight against the increasing cases of criminality in the country orchestrated by bandits, terrorists, internet fraudsters and armed robbers, who take advantage of easy access to telecom networks.

According to him, amending the NIMC Act to include registration of SIM cards with every subscriber’s NIN would make it easy to uncover the identity behind various criminal activities being carried out in society.

“National identity management system is critical to the development of any economy. It provides a universal identity infrastructure for a country to access and confirm the identities of individuals residing in its territory for economic planning, intelligence gathering and social development.

Ogun added that it was in recognition of the foregoing, that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established in 2007, to create, manage, maintain and operate a unified National Identity Database for Nigeria.

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