Despite the implementation of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) linkage to National Identification Number (NIN) policy, kidnappers and bandits operating mostly in the North West of the country still use mobile phones with SIM cards to demand huge ransom from their victims’ families.
This is contrary to the federal government’s claim that the implementation of the SIM linkage to NIN policy will help stop ransom demand and reduce insecurity in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said while launching the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration in May this year that proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and ability to conveniently access a database will enhance effective planning and security oversight.
The federal government in December 2020 issued a strong directive to NIMC, NCC and telecom companies to get all active SIM cards linked to NIN to among others curb insecurity which has put the country on edge in the last one year.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami said any SIM card without the owner’s NIN linked to it will be barred from the telecom network.
It has been extended about six times, but the government had now put October 31 as the new deadline.
Currently, 245 million numbers have been linked to 54 million NINs, according to records from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).