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Pantami: Forces Against NIN Policy Behind Attacks Against Me

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Pantami: Forces Against NIN Policy Behind Attacks Against Me
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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has alleged forces against the Federal Government’s compulsory policy on National Identification Number (NIN) registration for all Nigerians and those residing in the country are behind recent attacks against him.

Pantami in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES dismissed all the allegations against him, describing them as ‘untrue’.

He further denied links to extremist views, saying criminals and other ‘entrenched interests’ are behind the attacks on him.

He said: “I have no doubt about this. It has to do with the National Identification Number. Do you know one thing? This policy was started in 2011, it was not successful. Why? It was fought

“…In 2015, it came up, it was not successful. In 2018 there was a time that there were meetings between government and mobile network operators.

“And it was actually announced that by the agreement with government, the deadline was January 2018. It is there online, I will share it with you if you like. By January 2018, it was not implemented because there are forces against it. There are forces!”

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Pantami explained NIN registration is not only meant for Nigerians but it could be obtained by anybody in Nigeria.

He said: “Now they have started coming with the news that people are coming from neighbouring countries to register.

“What they fail to understand is that the National Identification Number is not only for Nigerians; anybody in Nigeria can obtain it.

“Section 16 and 17 of the Act mention the registrable people in the country – citizens, legal residents, legal permanent residents, and legal residents for a minimum of two years. So, it is not only for citizens. And it is also important to know that this is not just an indication that they are citizens of Nigeria.

“It is rather an indication that you presented your biometric data, so the government has control over your data.

“And that data of NIMC (National Identity Management Commission), nobody has access to it in any way he likes. Getting access to it illegally is 10 years in prison. It is there in the law. But people will like to discredit it, because they don’t like it.”

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The Minister added: “As long as it is implemented by the government, it will go a long way in reducing crime and based on the statistics we have been seeing now, it’s really encouraging.

“As government, our priority is the protection of the lives and property of our citizens. Security is our priority as a government – whether in agric, digital economy, education or in health, in whatever.

“President Muhammadu Buahari is so passionate about security, and he directed me to do that because he knows I try to persevere despite challenges and do what is right in the interest of our citizens and humanity.”

“You know as a government appointee, and at this level, if you say you are going to be intimidated by everything, then you cannot do the work. You cannot do the work.

” I was with the Minister of Foreign Affairs this week, on April 12. I was with the Minister. I was with the ambassadors of the U.K., the U.S., South Korea, and many other countries.

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“Even this issue that we are talking about, based on our findings, preliminary investigation, many people are not happy with what we have been doing – linking National Identification Number with SIM. Because a situation will come that all the people using SIM to commit crime will not be able to do that.

“If they do that, the government will be able to intercept them easily. This is what they don’t want to happen. And this is a mandate given to me by President Muhammadu Buhari. He personally signed the letter that ‘you are mandated to do that’.

“As his appointee, I should either do it or say I cannot. So, since I am willing to serve my country, I must continue to do it to the best of my ability.

“So, in my meeting with them, they even encouraged me to push it and make it very successful.”

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FG Does Not Understand Paystack And Flutterwave, Only How To Borrow Money from CBN – Chidoka

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FG Does Not Understand Paystack And Flutterwave, Only How To Borrow Money from CBN – Chidoka.
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Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, on Saturday said the Federal Government does not have a grasp of how technology start-ups make money.

Mr Chidoka, who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was speaking at The Platform, a televised event hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade and which seeks to spark conversations that can aid national development.

“What is the average age of our cabinet,” Mr. Chidoka said. “Our cabinet does not reflect Nigeria. They cannot understand Paystack, they cannot understand Flutterwave. They cannot understand Kobo360.

“They don’t know how to tax them. The tax authorities are taxing their revenues, because they think that all the money received by Kobo360 is revenue. No, it is money they are receiving as an aggregator.

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“So we need young people like you to be the Chairman of the FIRS. That’s what we need. We need people who understand.

“We can’t help them. Mr. President cannot understand it. The APC government does not understand it. They are too old to understand it. What they understand is borrowing money from the Central Bank.”

Mr. Chidoka explained that the relatively new crop of technology innovators are part of a new Nigeria he described as ‘Naija’.

“We need to unlock Naija,” he said. “It is not the responsibility of the structuralists. They are deceiving us, to make us keep looking at that day when we will change our constitution and El-Dorado will come. No, they are planning how they will take over in that new El-Dorado. “

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NIN: BLS International Seals Biometric Services Deal For Nigerians Living In UK

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NIN: BLS International Seals Biometric Services Deal For Nigerians Living In UK
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A partnership deal has been struck between outsourcing service provider BLS International and data and digital enrolment services firm Files Solutions Limited to help Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offer biometric enrollment services to Nigerians residing in the United Kingdom, BLS said in a press release.

There are an estimated 205,000 Nigerians in the UK, with about 97,000 of them living in London.

Per the three-year deal, BLS will enable NIMC to enroll the biometrics and biographical data of the Nigerians for the issuance of national identification numbers (NINs) as part of a digital identity database enrolment program which is also ongoing back home.

ALSO READ:  NIN holders to pay N15,000 for date of birth correction –NIMC official

According to the BLS announcement, its center in London will soon begin handing out NINs, as well as the General Multi-purpose Cards (GMPCs) which will be used by Nigerians abroad for various purposes including passport issuance, voter registration, and the opening of a bank account, among others.

The biometrics-backed NIN is also mandatory for certain services in Nigeria such as for delivery of driver’s licenses and registration for entrance into public universities.

Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director for BLS International, expressed delight after the deal was concluded, saying the company looks forward to offering streamlined services for NIMC.

“We are delighted to support the initiative by National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria by assisting them to streamline their identity management services for Nigerian citizens. Our domain expertise and tech-enabled services will help in seamless roll out of the project and making it successful. We are delighted by strengthening our footprint with newer partnerships serving global as well as local client governments,” said Aggarwal.

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As part of this ID services management process, helplines, an email contact address and a website will be put at the disposal of users in the days ahead, the announcement says.

This activity is not new to BLS International, as it has executed identity management and verification projects for the governments of Canada, Afghanistan and Egypt.

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Meet The 23-Year-Old Nigerian US Private, Commercial Pilot

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The 23-Year-Old Nigerian US Private, Commercial Pilot
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Meet Miracle Izuchukwu, 23-year-old Nigerian born Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot (candidate) and Flight Attendant at American Airlines.

She recently joined the elite group of 7% of females and 1% of black female Pilots in the world.

“I who grew up in a society that did not encourage young girls to dream big, career-wise. I remember watching lots of TED Talks to give myself more insights on possible careers that might interest me…to no avail,” said Miracle.

In 2019, she had an encounter with an Airline Pilot while working as a customer service rep. He opened her eyes to the possibility of becoming a Pilot. A few weeks later, she went on a discovery flight that sealed it for her.

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“I came home that day, called my father, and told him I was considering becoming a Professional Pilot.

He said, and I quote: “if he gets on a plane and sees a woman as the Pilot, he would get off the plane” words cannot explain the pain and confusion I felt. I needed that validation,” she narrated.

“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender?

In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to shout,” concluded Miracle.

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