INEC may make NIN compulsory for voter registration

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LINKING National Identity Numbers (NINs) to subscriber’s identification modules (SIM) cards would assist government in crime prevention and detection.

  Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, stated this yesterday in a statement issued in Abuja.

  A statement signed by Director of Public Affairs in Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adindu, said that over 47.8 million Nigerians have collected NINs.

  According to him, Nigerians should protect their NINs and subscribers should not sell their NINs or allow others to use them for registration.

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  “For any action committed with the SIM good or bad it will be officially traced and attached to the NIN owner. So far, a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. At an average of three to four SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 2021,” the minister warned.

  It will be recalled that Federal Government recently directed that all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked on January 19, 2021.

Meanwhile, Independent National Electoral Commission is considering making National Identity Number (NIN) a precondition for registering voters when the continuous voter registration exercise commences in a few weeks after a final decision is reached to that effect.

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  A national commissioner at INEC disclosed this during an interview, yesterday.

  According to him, NIN would help tackle challenges of underage voting, alien voting and other challenges associated with registration.

  “The NIN is the ideal. When we want to begin the continuous voter registration, we may consider it because ordinarily, a national identity card is what should be used for voting. When the PVC was introduced, it was meant to be in use for 10 years and the assumption was that within those 10 years, the national identity card would be in use by a majority of Nigerians.

I can tell you that the NIN will be one of the preconditions for registration when the CVR starts. We are trying to harmonise all databases,” he said.

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  But INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Nick Dazang, did not confirm or deny the policy but said meetings were still ongoing.

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