Thursday Update: Kagara Abduction, Service Chiefs and NIN Registration

Good morning.

We are leading with the latest updates on the abductions in Kagara, the screening of Service Chiefs by lawmakers, and the lingering challenges holding back NIN registration.


The recent abduction comes less than three months after the kidnap of students in Kankara, Katsina State.

Yet Another School Abduction

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, gunmen stormed Government Science College, Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. One student was killed during the attack and 42 other persons, including students and teachers, were kidnapped.

In response to the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari directed security forces to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped persons. and the Niger State Government ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit ravaged areas of the state.

The Kagara assault is the latest on schools across the country. Gunmen have previously abducted students from Kankara in Katsina State, Dapchi in Yobe State, and Chibok in Borno State. Many are still in captivity.

It also highlights the poor state of security nationwide as the police, military, and other agencies struggle to stretch finite resources.

Senate: Members of the red chamber asked the President to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the country.

NGF: The Governors Forum met behind closed doors at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja to discuss the state of insecurity in the country.

Perspective: A Niger State Senator, Sani Musa, said the gunmen were not bandits but terrorists. And a security consultant, Gen. John Temlong, said the payment of ransom leads to the fueling and arming of terrorism.


President Muhammadu Buhari stands with his military chiefs.

Service Chiefs Face Lawmakers

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Defence on Wednesday started the screening and confirmation process of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.

The security bosses, appointed by President Buhari on January 26, have already swung into action. They are expected to be confirmed by the lawmakers.

Bashir Magashi: Speaking with newsmen after the screening, the Minister of Defence said Nigerians should not be cowards in the face of bandit attacks and learn to defend themselves.

Quote: “We shouldn’t be cowards,” General Magashi said. “Sometimes the bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.”

Related: The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has deployed 302 Special Forces to Kaduna State as part of efforts to tackle banditry, kidnapping, and other violent crimes in the state.


A file photo of applicants at one of the NIMC offices in the country.

Challenges Remain With NIN Registration

The National Identification Number has been touted as one of the tools that can help to tackle insecurity nationwide. But Nigerians have continued to complain about the registration process.

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for linking the NIN with SIM cards at least twice. but it might have to do it again.

Lagos: While the usual crowds have thinned out at the registration centre in Ikeja, enrolees say that a lot more should be done to improve the process.

Abuja: The situation is similar in the Federal Capital Territory where applicants say they have been scheduled for dates beyond the government’s deadline.


What else is happening?

Abdulsalam Abubakar: The former Head of State said if nothing is done to address the growing tension in the country, it might lead to a point of no return.

Borno: An IDP camp was gutted in Maiduguri by fire on Wednesday, killing three people, including a child. The inferno also destroyed 620 makeshift houses.

Catholic: Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of lent, a period of fasting for 40 days that comes to an end on the Saturday before Easter.

Invictus Obi: The Forbes-endorsed millionaire was sentenced to ten years in prison by a US court for wire fraud.

PDP: Governors elected under the aegis of the party have called for an urgent decentralisation of the Nigeria police.  According to them, it will help to stem the tide of insecurity across the country.

Ethiopia: The conflict-torn northern Tigray region has been hit by an electricity blackout, the government said on Wednesday.

Cyberattack: US authorities said North Korea tried to steal $1.3 billion in crypto and traditional currencies from banks and other victims.


And that’s it for today. It’s almost Friday and then the weekend. See you.

ICYMI: We Need To Replace BVN With NIN, Says Minister Of Communications

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami on has said the National Identification Numbers (NIN) database is superior to the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).

Speaking during a facility tour of telecoms operators and NIN registration centres on Monday, Dr Isa Pantami explained that he briefed the National Economic Sustainability Committee, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the imperative of replacing BVN with NIN.

Dr Pantami argued that while BVN was only for account holders with various banks, the NIN is for all Nigerians, irrespective of their status.

“We need to replace BVN with our NIN number,” Dr Pantami said. “The reason is very clear. BVN is a CBN policy, while the National Identification Number is established by law. So the strength of the law, wherever you go, is not the same with the policy of only one institution.

“Secondly, BVN is only applicable to only those who have bank accounts but National Identity Number is for each and every citizen and legal resident in the country.

“Thirdly, BVN is a secondary database, while National Identification Number and the database is the primary one in the country that each and every institution should make reference to NIMC.”

 

Rivers Residents Ask FG To Make NIN Registration Stress Free

The crowd at the NIMC office in Rivers State

 

 

Rivers State residents are asking the Federal Government to make the National Identification Number Registration (NIN), stress-free in the country. 

Since the announcement of the policy in December 2020, applicants have continued to gather at the commission’s offices within the state most of the time, without recourse to the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the applicants, including a nursing mother, called on the Federal Government to deploy more personnel and computers to the state or allow citizens to link their sim cards with bank verification numbers, which they say will be readily available.

 

Following the various outcry for the extension of NIN registration, the Federal Government on Tuesday extended the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) by eight weeks.

READ ALSO: FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline By Eight Weeks

News of the extension was contained in a statement signed by spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the ​Nigeria Identity Management Commission.

According to the statement, which was dated February 1, the extension was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

“Dr. Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM,” the statement said.

The new deadline for the exercise is now April 6.

FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline By Eight Weeks

A file photo of applicants at one of the NIMC offices in the country.

 

The Federal Government has extended the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) by eight weeks.

News of the extension was contained in a statement signed by spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the ​Nigeria Identity Management Commission.

According to the statement, which was dated February 1, the extension was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

READ ALSO: Communications Minister Meets With NIMC Workers Ahead Of Planned Strike

“Dr. Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM,” the statement said.

The new deadline for the exercise is now April 6.

 

The joint statement added that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators, “a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.”

The NIN exercise and deadline(s) attached to it has drawn backlash from several quarters over its timing as thousands flock to registration centres, flouting COVID-19 directives such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.

However, the federal government has blamed Nigerians for not complying with strict COVID-19 protocols put in place for the smooth conduct of the exercise.

 

Read the full joint statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT
Federal Government Lauds Citizens, Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline by 8 Weeks

The ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021. This message was conveyed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which held on the 1st of February, 2021. Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.

The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister and attended by key stakeholders, including the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON). Others include the MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Globacom.

It was reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators. Each NIN is usually tied to an average of 3 to 4 SIMs and this infers that the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs. This number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.

Furthermore, over 1060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country, while Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have opened hundreds of centres and are rapidly deploying resources to open thousands of other NIN enrolment centres across states of the country. This is in line with the policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians.

The CEOs of the Telcos and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Organisation of Nigeria commended the Honourable Minister for his stellar leadership and commitment to the rapid development of the sector.

Dr. Pantami reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents who are yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enroll for their NIN and link with their SIMs. It would be recalled that the 4th of February, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.

The Federal Government of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise. The Honourable Minister also commended the efforts of NIMC, NCC, MNOs and all other relevant government and private sector organisations for their unflinching support towards the success of the exercise.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his satisfaction with the progress made regarding the NIN-SIM linkage and commended the Honourable Minister and all stakeholders for their roles. He encouraged citizens to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process.

The Honourable minister implores applicants to follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centers and ensure compliance with the booking system in place. This protocol is in line with the Executive Order on COVID-19 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 27th of January 2021, in keeping with the provisions of the Quarantine Act 2004.

It is noteworthy that Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provides for the mandatory use of National Identity Number for transactions, including application and issuance of a passport, opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others.

Signed:​​​​​​​​
Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde​​​ Mr. Kayode Adegoke​​
Director Public Affairs​​​Head,Corporate Communications
Nigerian Communications Commission​Nigeria Identity Management Commission
February 1, 2021

Buhari Extends Deadline To Link NIN With SIM Database, Says Telecom Operators

A crowd gathers at the NIMC office in the Alausa area of Lagos State on January 8, 2021.

 

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria on Wednesday said the deadline for Nigerians to link their National Identity Number to the SIM registration database has been extended till February 9.

The deadline had earlier been scheduled to elapse on Tuesday.

According to a statement signed by ALTON’s Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, the directive to extend the deadline was given by President Muhammadu Buhari, as confirmed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“We want to thank the President for giving us more time to deliver on this all-important assignment of creating a credible national identity database for the country,” the statement said.

“We are also grateful to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami, for his commitment to enabling digital economy.

“To ensure that we utilize the extension period judiciously, we urge all telecom subscribers who have a NIN to link it to their SIM Cards through available channels as soon as possible. Those yet to enroll are advised to visit www.nimc.gov.ng for a list of enrolment centres close to them.”

Anger As NIMC Officials Fail To Show Up For NIN Registration In Kubwa

Many residents were left angry after officials failed to show up to register them for the National Identification Number in Kubwa

 

Anger and frustration dominated emotions at the registration centre for the National Identification Number in Kubwa, Abuja on Wednesday after officials failed to show up for the exercise.

Hundreds of residents had turned up at the centre in a scramble to get the number and beat the deadline set by the Nigerian Communications Commission for sim cards to be linked with NIN.

The situation at the centre, however, turned chaotic when officials of the National Identity Management Commission failed to show up to attend to them and the crowd surged without direction or guidance.

As has been the case in many centres across the country, many of those at the centre expressed anger and disappointment about the way the process was being handled and demanded a review.

The situation at the centre had been peaceful on Monday, but, even then, enrollees had faulted the process and the lack of arrangments for people with disabilities.

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said recently said over 47 million Nigerians have registered for the National Identity Numbers (NINs).

NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who disclosed this via a statement, said the figures represented the statistics collected by telecommunication mobile operators.

He noted that many more Nigerians would be linked up before the deadline for the exercise in February.

“So far a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. At an average of 3 to 4 SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 202″.

47.8 Million NINs Have Been Collected By Mobile Operators – NCC

A file photo of applicants at one of the NIMC offices in the country.

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday said over 47 million Nigerians have registered for the National Identity Numbers (NINs).

NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who disclosed this via a statement, said the figures represented the statistics collected by telecommunication mobile operators.

Adinde is optimistic that many more Nigerians would be linked up before the deadline for the exercise in February.

“So far a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. At an average of 3 to 4 SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 2021,” the statement partly read.

“At the end of a review meeting on 18th January 2021, the Technical Implementation Committee under the Ministerial Task Force has reported significant progress in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage exercise.”

Reacting to the report, the NCC spokesman said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, expressed satisfaction with this commendable achievement.

READ ALSO: ‘We Will Continue To Work With Our Neighbours’, Buhari Tells President Talon

He was said to have expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation for “the commitment demonstrated by all stakeholders and citizens and urged them to submit their NINs before 9th February 2021 deadline

“The Minister urged the technical team to fast-track the processes so that the project is delivered soonest.

“The Technical Committee drew attention to the App developed by FGN which allows subscribers to link up to a maximum of seven (7) SIMs to their NIN.

“The Minister concluded by reminding Nigerians to secure and protect their NINs, urging subscribers to desist from selling their NINs or allowing others to use their NINs for registration. “For any act committed with the SIM good or bad it will be officially traced and attached to the NIN owner,” the Minister warned.

FG Approves NIN Enrollment Centre For Members Of Diplomatic Corps

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has approved the setting up of a National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment centre at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The desk will be set up by Tuesday, 19th of January, 2021.

This enrolment centre will provide support for members of the Diplomatic
Corps and will be managed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and
Digital Economy, through the National Identity Management Commission.

According to Dr Femi Adeluyi the Technical Assistant to the minister, “The centre is being set up based on the request of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in order to simplify the process for diplomats.

The National Identity Number is mandatory for diplomats who will reside in
Nigeria for a continuous period of two years or more. It is also mandatory
for all other lawful residents in the country as stated in Section 16 of the
National Identity Management Commission Act 2007.

The Law has made it mandatory for Nigerians and legal residents to obtain
an NIN since 2007. However, compliance has been low, until recently.

Dr Adeluyi in his statement on Sunday assured that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy remains committed to creating an enabling environment for all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain their Digital Identity Number.

NIMC To Reactivate 20 Centres For NIN Enrollment In Abuja

A file photo combination of an NIMC logo and a sample of the national identity card.

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has approved the reactivation of 20 centers within the FCT to ease the process of enrollment for the National Identification Number (NIN).

This is according to a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications at the NIMC, Kayode Adegoke.

READ ALSO: NIMC Workers Ask FG To Address Their Demands Or Risk Another Strike

The reactivation is expected to commence on Monday.

The Minister has also endorsed the closure of enrolment activities at the NIMC Headquarters in Abuja.

Below are the addresses of the centers being reactivated:

 

S/NOENROLMENT CENTERSADDRESS
1STATE OFFICE2nd Floor, Block C, No 4 Maputo Street, Zone 3, Wuse, Abuja.
AREA COUNCILS
2ABAJIAbaji Secretariat Complex, Legislative Section Abaji, FCT –                Abuja.
3AMACAMAC Secretariat Annex, Kabusa Junction Apo, FCT-                Abuja.
4BWARIArea Council Complex Bwari, FCT, Abuja.
5GWAGWALADACIPB Building (Old Secretariat), Gwagwalada, FCT – Abuja.
6KWALIKwali Council Secretariat, Kwali, FCT – Abuja
7KUJEOpposite Forest Pasali,Along Kuje/Gwagwalada Road, FCT.

 

 

 

SPECIAL CENTRES
8DEI-DEIBeside Diamond Bank, Building Materials International Market.
9DUTSEDutse Alhaji, FCT – Abuja.
10FHA GWARINPAFHA/Waterboard Beside Police Station Off 3rd Avenue, FCT – Abuja.
11HIGHCOURT LUGBEBy Police Signboard, Close to Lugbe Market, Airport Road.
12JIWAAEDC Office, before Emir Palace FCT – Abuja
13KARSHIWomen Development Secretariat, Karshi.
14KENUJ SCHOOLKenuj Angles Schools, Jikwoyi Phase 1 Extension, FCT-Abuja.
15KURUDUChief Palace, Kurudu.
16NIGERIAN CUSTOM SERVICE KARUBeside Custom Clinic, Karu Site, FCT-Abuja
17NIPOST KUBWANIPOST, Opposite General Hospital, Phase 4, Kubwa
LICENSED PRIVATE AGENTS’ CENTERS
18NIN Enrolment CenterIbro Hotel 34-36 Sokode Street Wuse 2, Abuja
19Afritech multi Concept

 

Gwandal plaza adjacent EFCC

Wuse 2, Abuja

 

20NIN Enrolment CenterNo 8, Nairobi Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.

 

NIMC Workers Ask FG To Address Their Demands Or Risk Another Strike

Nigerians wait at the main entrance of NIMC Abuja for NIN registration.

 

Workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to take advantage of the 20-day window of the suspended industrial action to address all their demands or risk another strike by the Commission.

The Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC Chapter, Asekokhai Lucky, confirmed to Channels Television, that the meeting which was scheduled to hold with the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantanmi to address the issues has not been held, even though the workers suspended the strike in good faith.

The workers also decried the lack of adequate computers at the Commission’s Headquarters, as they insist it slows down the pace of work.

The explained to Channels Television correspondent who visited the NIMC Headquarters that the registration and capturing process takes about five minutes, but the lack of adequate computer systems slow the pace of work.

Last week, workers of the Commission went on strike, protesting poor welfare and the lack of motivation.

The strike was suspended on Monday after the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy intervened.

This suspended industrial action may be short-lived as the workers appeal to the Federal Government to take advantage of the 20-day window to address their demands.

NIN Generated With BVN Must Be Updated At Enrolment Centres – NIMC

A file photo combination of the NIMC logo and a sample of the national identity card.

 

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has insisted that it is compulsory for Nigerians to visit the enrolment centres to complete their National Identification Number registration.

It stressed that it was important for people not to get carried away with the generation of NIN due to Bank Verification Number (BVN) record harmonisation with the National Identity Database.

In a post on its Twitter handle on Tuesday, the agency asked those who have gotten their NIN through such a process to visit the enrolment centres to validate their number.

It said, “NIN generated by the BVN can only be used after it has been updated at the NIMC enrolment center. You must complete your NIN registration even if your BVN has generated a NIN.”

“If your NIN was generated due to BVN record harmonisation with the National Identity Database, you will not have access to the NIMC mobile app, and your NIN-SIM integration will be invalid.

“Kindly visit an enrolment centre to complete your NIN registration,” another tweet read.

The NIMC made the clarification following the controversy sparked by the use of shortcodes to generate the NIN.

This comes after some enrolees said they got the number after getting registered for the BVN, insisting that there was no need to visit any NIMC centre again.

Amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, thousands of Nigerians storm the NIMC enrolment centres daily.

There are fears that the rate of transmission at the enrolment centres is high because the enrolees fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocols.

Read the tweets below:

NIN Enrolment: The Struggles, Challenges At Registration Centres

 

Workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) continued the enrolment exercise for the National Identity Number (NIN) on Monday after a two-day strike.

In continuation of its coverage of the registration process in Lagos, Channels Television crew visited more than seven local governments.

While the process may have been stalled, the challenges faced by enrolees and even the NIMC workers are not likely to fade away anytime soon.

“Enrol once and be identified for life,” that was the footnote of the signpost that welcomes enrolees to the agency’s office nationwide.

But getting registered for – a process which the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said should take less than 10 minutes – has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many Nigerians.

 

A Temporary Setback

In this photo taken on January 8, 2021, a signpost is seen at the NIMC office in the Alausa area of Lagos State.

 

A look inside the NIMC office in Alausa, and all seemed cool and calm, but outside the premises was where the chaos lived.

From the crowd of mostly angry applicants who throng enrolment centres on a daily basis, there were obvious gaps, enough to make one wonder whether the NIMC was properly set up for the national assignment.

The exercise was temporarily disrupted when the Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASSN) of NIMC embarked on a strike over several challenges, including staff exposure to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotion, and poor funding, among other issues.

To limit the number of people coming to their offices, the agency announced in December that enrolment would be done through a booking system.

In this photo taken on January 8, 2021, some women are seen at the NIMC office in the Alausa area of Lagos State.

 

Despite the step taken by the NIMC, officials decried that most applicants failed to follow the instruction as they would rather show up at the enrolment centres hoping to get the process done as fast as possible.

But the situation was entirely different at the local government offices where the control of the process appeared to have slipped off the agency’s hands.

Officials of the local governments tried to create a semblance of orderliness, but the bottlenecks were very visible.

Only one computer was kept in a usually dark and discreet part of the local council – with a large number of people waiting in line to be registered.

 

Breach Of Procedure?

Benard Keneth told Channels Television that he had been going to Alimosho Local Government for almost a week to get registered without making any headway.

He claimed that the officials were intentionally slowing down the process to execute their extortion plan.

Benard’s complaint was similar to the situation in Agege, Kosofe, Surulere, Mushin, Ikeja, Yaba and other local governments visited.

Channels Television discovered that the process may have been hijacked by middlemen who were on hand to assist those who want to fast-track the process.

A crowd gathers at the NIMC office in the Alausa area of Lagos State on January 8, 2021.

This breach of procedure breeds more frustration for enrolees, especially for those who genuinely wait in line.

In December, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ordered all telecommunications company to suspend sale, registration and activation of new Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs).

This followed Dr Pantami’s directive that the NCC should embark on another audit of the nation’s Subscriber Registration Database.

The Federal Government believes harmonising all phone numbers through the NIN will help to curtail and checkmate the lingering security challenges in some parts of the country.

A photo taken on January 8, 2021, shows dozens of enrolees prevented from entering the NIMC office in the Alausa area of Lagos State.

 

While many have faulted the timing and execution of the directive, the government insisted there was no better time for the digital identity ecosystem framework to be executed.

Those tabling the timing argument have reservations, especially with the total COVID-19 figures rising by the day in the wake of the second wave of the virus.

According to the NIMC, no fewer than 15 million people with bank verification number (BVN) have been linked with the National Identity Number.

As the exercise continues, the agency is expected to overcome the data integration challenges and issues of touting, extortion, and COVID-19 concerns.