Nigeria: The National Identity Number, NIN Blunder
News reports indicating that staff of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, prime actors in the ongoing drive to link the National Identity Number, NIN of citizens to their telephone SIM cards comes across as another muddle in a complex chain of poorly thought policy implementation steps being undertaken by a Nigerian government agency.
While the agency pleads that it had long issued the deadline for the registration of citizens on the NIN platform and their consequently linking the assigned National Identity Numbers to their different documentation points, including their SIM registration, the plain fact that millions of Nigerians are practically being coerced to throng the few and restricted registration and confirmation centres at a time of a persisting national and global health emergency speaks volumes as to the non-interconnectedness of policy at the governmental level. How can one agency of government, namely the Presidential Task Force on the Prevention and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic be crying itself hoarse over the need for Nigerians to maintain social distancing and to reduce mingling opportunities while the NIMC is vicariously promoting the alternative scenario?
In our considered view, the proper thing to do now is to formally discontinue the exercise and migrate same online.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria