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NIN prison term clause, a streaming platform for stage plays

Good day,

Yinka Awosanya here.

Today, we are discussing:

  • Prison term for not having a National Identification Number
  • A streaming platform for stage plays launches

Prison term for not having an NIN

A little bit of background: The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria was established in 2007 with a mandate to establish, own, operate, maintain, and manage the national identity database. Fourteen years later, many Nigerians still don’t have a National Identification Number (NIN).  

In August 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the transfer of the NIMC to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. Earlier in 2020, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami gave a December 2020 ultimatum for Nigerians to register for their NIN and link it to their SIM cards.

The rush: On December 16, 2020, the Nigerian telecommunications regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) asked all mobile subscribers to link their NIN to their SIM cards to avoid being blocked by December 30, 2020, a deadline that has since been extended a couple of times. New SIM registrations have since been suspended.

Now, it’s a prison term: Addressing State House correspondents yesterday Thursday, April 1, 2021, Dr. Pantami affirmed that failure to own an NIN could lead to a 14-year imprisonment. The minister also stated that it’s illegal to get a voter’s card without an NIN. Other activities that are illegal without owning an NIN include opening a bank account, paying tax, and collecting a pension, among others.

It was not an April Fools’ Day prank: Despite yesterday being April 1st, the prison term statement wasn’t a prank as the minister based it on Section 27 of the NIMC Act.

However, the referenced Section only lists the activities — some of which are mentioned above — that require an NIN for completion; it is Section 29 that stipulates the offence. It also states the punishments: a fine of not less than ₦50,000 and a jail term of not less than six months for individuals, while corporate bodies and their CEOs each pay a ₦1 million fine.

Source: Techpoint

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