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(Special Report) Nigerians await first crime to be smashed using NIN-SIM fact-check

As the endless wait for the smashing of a criminal syndicate or arrest of a prime suspect using National Identification Number (NIN) -Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration technology continue to be elusive in the face of jumping criminality continue, many Nigerians have started thinking that the Federal Government took them for a ride considering the hullabaloos that trailed the policy introduction.
Otherwise, despite the implementation of the integration policy, which many government officials, especially the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and mainly the introducing Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isah Pantami claimed will curb criminality, there has not been any criminal syndicate busted with reliance on NIN-SIM fact-check.
Only recently, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) averred that the total enrolment into its National Data Base (NDB) as at January 22, 2023 peaked at over 95.07 million. It was 94.03million on last December 31, making an increase of 1.04million. Lagos State continued to maintain its lead, posting the highest cumulative enrollment figure of over 10.51 million. It was 10.42 million on December 31, 2022, marking an increment of 0.09million. According to data posted on its Enrolment Dashboard yesterday, NIMC said that by gender distribution, male had a total enrolment figure of 53,677.001 representing 56 per cent of total enrolment figure while female had 41,400,916 representing 44 per cent. A further breakdown of the figure according to what it tagged: Top 10 states for NIN enrolment as at 22 January, 2023, showed that Lagos had 4,777,512 male enrolments while 5,738,386 was female enrolment bringing total to 10,515,898. Kano ranked second with 3,552,579 male; 4,762,379 female; and total figure of 8,314,958 enrolments while Kaduna with a total of 5,608,634 enrolments distributed at 2,492,885 and 3,115,749 for male and female enrollees was third on the list. Ogun, with 1,903,116 male enrollees and 2,065,859 female ranked fourth. The state had a total of 3,968,975 enrolments.
Business Hilights recalls that in October 2021, a former Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, while speaking during the live programme, advised Nigerians to make use of the extension of the NIN-SIM integration exercise to October 31, 2021, to enrol with NIMC, get their NIN and link it to their SIMs. “Soon, people without NIN will be denied of necessary services that play vital roles in their lives including acquisition of driver’s license, international passport,” he said.
Explaining more on the core benefits of the NIN-SIM integration, Adinde said the exercise will significantly enhance national security as NIN is the primary identity for Nigerians, stressing that in line with Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria deploys technology to improve service delivery, the NIN-SIM database will enhance citizens’ access to government services.
However, there has never been any breakthrough by any of the security agencies that is largely aided by NIN-SIM integration, thus, raising questions about the hush-push applied by the government in 2021 on the issue after all.
Upon the huge success compliance so far recorded as there is no more any SIM inn use without NIN integration, urban criminality and terrorism have continued to stair the nation in the face.
There had been rise in crimes using phone calls and nothing has came out of the scheme using the technology to track crime either.
Already, many Nigerians have started raising questions both for the NCC and the Minister on their earlier claims surrounding the NIN_SIM integration considering recent spate of crimes where victims are care freely called using SIM card, still yet, no arrest is effected by tracking such calls.
Business Hilights recalls that at the start of the policy in April, over 72.77 million active telecommunication subscriptions were barred from making calls. But the industry has since shaken off the effect of this and grew by 13.89 per cent in 2022.
According to new data from the NCC, the total number of subscriptions grew from 195.13 million as of December 2021 to 222.23 million as of December 2022. This growth signified a complete shake-off of the decline that plagued the telecoms industry in 2021 when the total number of mobile subscriptions declined by 4.42 per cent from 204.15 million as of December 2020 to 195.13 million as of December 2021.
Still last year, teledensity, the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area grew to 116.60 per cent the (highest on record).

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