The success of the ongoing linking of SIMs to National Identification Numbers, NIN, would determine the success of the ongoing war against insecurity.

President Buhari stated this at the launch of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, PresidentBuhari said proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and the ability to conveniently access a database will provide the impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.

Buhari called on Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronization of the NIN with SIM cards across the country, adding that would provide a digital framework for improving security and strengthening the economy.

He said, “The NIN will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure. We will be able to easily identify and know the personality of Nigerians. We will identify people easily, including the crooks.”

The President said the launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and will support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.

According to him, “The National Identification Number is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services and will give government useful insights that will enable us to utilize scarce resources in a more efficient way.”

President Buhari noted that the first National SIM Policy was launched in February 2020, and the revised policies were in full alignment with the objectives of the administration in the areas of economic development, security, and anti-corruption.

He said, “The Digital Economy sector has made significant progress and recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we expanded the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include the digital economy mandate.

“The Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The sector’s 14.70 per cent double-digit growth rate played a principal role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the sector exceeded four times the next fastest-growing sector of
Q4 2020, ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 per cent. This is truly commendable.”

He explained that the National Policy for Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector was in line with the administration’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigerians become active participants in the different sectors of the economy, including the telecommunications sector.

He said, “The Federal Government embraced institutionalizing online meetings through the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions. As a result of this, we now have virtual Federal Executive Council, virtual Council of State, and virtual National Economic Council meetings, among others, even though this development was triggered by COVID-19.

“As a country, our desire to produce what we eat, and consume what we produce is not limited to the literal meaning; rather we want to work towards being self-sufficient in every sector of the economy. For the telecom sector, we want Nigerians to play a major role in the design and manufacture of devices, in meeting the manpower requirements, and in becoming an active part of the telecommunications ecosystem of the country.

“The policy aims to achieve this and I have earlier directed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, to develop the structure for its implementation and forward this to the Nigerian Communications Commission to implement. We are confident that the execution of the Policy will further enhance our economy and lead to the creation of jobs.”

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