Nigerians now risk fourteen years jail term as stipulated by the Constitution if they fail to obtain their National Identity Number (NIN), the country’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has said.
Mr Pantami stated this on Thursday during the weekly State House Press Briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said it was a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for any Nigerian to transact business like open a bank account, pay taxes among others without having NIN.
“Those who are yet to obtain their NIN, risk seven or 14 years imprisonment as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution,” the Minister said.
“Obtaining a SIM card may be optional, NIN is mandatory,” he said at the 6th edition of the ministerial briefings organised by the Presidential Media Team at the Villa, Abuja.
According to the minister, as of March 31, 2021, 51 million NIN have been fully enrolled while 189 million Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) have so far been registered.
“Out of this, 150 million have completed registration while others have problems of improper registration,” Pantami said, noting that NIN would indicate the total number of Nigerians that have registered.
By Abel Ejikeme