The federal government has declared that no fewer than 67 million people have registered for the National Identification Number (NIN), which is the foundation for economic growth and national security.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Malam Isa Pantami, disclosed this in Paris at the Nigeria international Partnership Forum held on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.
Pantami said the NIN database was planned in such a way that people in their productive age of 15 years to 60 years were captured first and 92 per cent in that category had been captured.
He said the focus currently was on the younger age from age one to 14 years.
The minister said the government placed premium on the NIN enrolment because it is the foundation for the growth of the economy, securing the country and protecting investors from fraudulent elements.
“With NIN enrolment, the identity of citizens and legal residents will be known and whosoever goes online, the identity will be known by the federal government and security institutions.
“You cannot open an account, process a travelling passport, or driver licence without obtaining NIN and it has become a prerequisite to accessing government services and to bring peace of mind to prospective investors,” he said.
The minister said the enrolment had been made seamless with the increase of enrolment centres fom1, 600 to 6, 000 while one or two enrolment centres were set up in every country for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Pantami said more than 10 enrolment centres were set up in the U K and USA to address the need of many Nigerians in those countries
To make the country safe and attractive for Foreign Direct Investment, Pantami said the government launched the National Digital Economy with eight pillars among which is the number six which addressed the issue of cyber security.
He said among the things achieved was to clean up the country’s data base by blocking over 24 million SIM cards that were improperly registered or completely unregistered and could be used for cyber-crime.
Corroborating Pantami’s position, the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, said Nigeria was winning the war against terror and the overblown insecurity situation in the country should be jettisoned.
According to Monguno, no fewer than 15,000 insurgents and Boko Haram members had voluntarily surrendered in the North-east in recent times.
“In the last five months, we have had a large wave of terrorists and their sympathisers surrendering in droves. Right now it is becoming a humanitarian issue because we have to contain so many of them,” he said.