Isa Pantami, Communications Minister.

Failure to register for National Identification Number (NIN) attracts fourteen years imprisonment, Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, has warned.

Mr Pantami who gave the warning on Thursday at the weekly presidential media briefing in Abuja, said although the use of SIM card is optional, it was mandatory for all Nigerians to obtain their NIN as defaulters will be made to face the wrath of the law.

“National Identity is a law and it’s mandatory and for you to conduct certain activities without the number is an offence. For you to get a voters card in Nigeria based on Section 27 of NIMC Act, it is an offence,” Pantami said. “For you to open a bank account without a National Identity Number is an offence. For you to pay tax is an offence. For you to collect pension it is an offence.

“For you to enjoy any government service without having a National Identity Number is an offence. Section 29 says ‘if you do any of these in Sec 27 without obtaining National Identity, you have commited a crime that will lead to fine or imprisonment or both of them and this is 14 years note today.

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“Based on the requirement by law, each and every citizen and legal resident must obtain his/her National Identification Number (NIN), which is being coordinated by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

“It’s a requirement by law but many citizens ignore it.

“No country will be successful in education, health, budget planning or national planning without a database of its citizens in place.

“What I inherited in the database was less than 20 per cent of our population. But we want to ensure that before we leave office we would look at the database and be proud of our country,’’ he added.

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On the number of NIN enrolment as at March 31, 2021, the minister said 51million Nigerians have registered despite challenges, while about 150 million have linked their sim cards to NIN.

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