The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has said that Nigerians who fail to enroll for the National Identity Number (NIN) risk imprisonment.
Pantami made the comment on Thursday, April 1, at the sixth edition of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential media team at the State House in Abuja.
He explained that the decision to imprison those without a NIN was in line with the Nigerian Constitution, saying no one should enjoy government services without the number.
Pantami made the emphasis that while obtaining a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card may be optional, NIN is mandatory; noting that a lot of transactions in the country should not be conducted without the NIN.
He noted that rather than the population census which can be manipulated; NIN will determine the accurate number of Nigerians because of its uniqueness and tamper-proof.
According to the Minister, no fewer than 51 million Nigerians have enrolled for NIN; and it is important for transactions in the country to be conducted with the number.
Similarly, he announced that the aggregate registration for SIM across the country has hit 189 million.
He explained that out of the figure, 150 million are completed registration; while the remaining have problems of improper registration.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stated that the Federal Government amended the National Broadcasting Code to provide a level playing ground for all stakeholders in the industry to thrive.
Lai Mohammed made the clarification on Thursday, April 1, in Abuja when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship interview programme, NANForum.
He explained that the administration tinkered with the code in a manner that would make contents to be qualitative; and the entire broadcasting ecosystem profitable.
The minister explained that with the removal of exclusivity rights; the code had stopped the hitherto monopolistic system that did not allow the indigenous companies to thrive.
“For instance, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) between 2015 and 2020 had licensed 30 paid TV companies in Nigeria.
“As we speak today, only one is struggling to survive; because the regulatory framework was such that they could not survive.
“The first thing we did was to amend Section 911 of the Code on compulsory acquisition and monopolistic access to premium contents.
“We said henceforth, if for example Multichoice or Startimes or any big company; acquires the right to show any premium sports or news programme in Nigeria; it must retail it to other channels.