By Newsie Events Media:
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said that the true population figure of the country will be determined by linking Nigerians Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with their National Identification Number (NIN).
Mr Pantami noted that while the National Population Commission (NPC) estimates that there are around 210 million Nigerians, other stakeholders estimate 10 million less or more, giving a gap of 20 million people.
“How can you get your national budget right; how can we get our education, health, security and social intervention right without knowing the population of Nigerian residents,” Mr Pantami said.
The minister acknowledged that while Nigeria’s population could be determined through census, the process was however fraught with corruption and abuse. “With national identification such abuse is not possible,” Mr Pantami said.
“With biometrics, which are on record, the nation does not require frequent census if the database is updated. The same database can be with the National Population Commission because it is part and parcel of the National Identity Management Commission.”
Describing it an offence for any citizen or foreigner resident in Nigeria not to have a NIN, Mr Pantami justified the synchronising of SIM cards to the NIN by citing similar instances by foreign countries.
“It is the number that one is identified either as a citizen or as a legal resident. Any person resident in Nigeria is entitled to it by law. It is the foundational identity and no responsible country will exist without providing foundational ID to its citizens and legal residents.
“It exists in the UK as National Insurance Number, in the U. S. as the National Insurance Security Number, even in India with a population of about 1.2 billion, it exists for all citizens.
“Every country has a type of identification but in Nigeria, the 7th most populous nation after China, India, U.S., Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil, we are still struggling to know the total number of people living in Nigeria,” Mr Pantami said. Source: (Peoples Gazette)
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