President Muhammadu Buhari says the ongoing registration of the National Identification Number (NIN) database will help his government identify criminals in Nigeria.
The President said 54 million Nigerians had already registered, adding that the enrolment would address the security challenges in the country.
Buhari said this on his verified Twitter page at Muhammadu Buhari (@Mbuhari) on Thursday.
The NIN enrolment is being coordinated by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, compelling Nigerian citizens to not only have NIN but also link them with their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) which has generated controversies recently following his past comments supporting deadly terrorist organisations.
Nigerians have seen called for his resignation or sacking by President Buhari.
However, the Presidency openly defended Pantami, saying his past controversial comments were made when he was immature.
Despite the raging controversy over Pantami’s continued stay in office, Buhari has expressed satisfaction with the job done by his ministry regarding NIN registration.
“I am pleased with the success we are recording in the enrolment of persons into the National Identification Number (NIN) database. 54 million Nigerians have now enrolled; I am told over 12 million of these within the last six months. Our goal is total coverage.
“The National Identification Number (NIN) is the foundational digital ID for the country. It will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure. We will be able to easily identify all Nigerians, including the crooks in our midst.
“Both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services, and will give government useful insights that will enable us utilise scarce resources in a more efficient way,” President Buhari tweeted.