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Again, FG Shifts Deadline for NIN Verification to July 26

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Following the slow verification of the National Identification Number (NIN) by the Identity Management Commission (NIMC) the federal government yesterday extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification from June 30 to July 26.

Yesterday’s extension of the deadline made it the seventh time the federal government would be postponing the deadline, since the beginning of the exercise.

The federal government has equally increased facilities for the registration of NIN to 5,410 nationwide.

In a joint statement yesterday by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and signed by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, stated that the decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems nationwide.

The federal government, in December 2020, had directed telecoms subscribers to register their NIN and submit same to network operators for verification and linkage with their SIM cards.

However, the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) on harmonisation of National Identification Number (NIN) with Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), otherwise known as NIN-SIM Harmonisation Committee, has rated NIN-SIM verification and integration exercise very low for May .

The committee’s latest report on NIN submission and verification, covering March to May, showed that subscribers have continued to submit their NINs to mobile network operators (MNOs) for verification and linkage to their telephone lines, as directed by the federal government.

The information gathered, however, showed that the verification and linkage has been abysmally slow, due to the alleged poor funding of NIMC, the government agency, responsible for NIN enrolment and verification.

According to the committee’s report, active telephone lines as of May were 192 million, and a cumulative 95.6 million NIN owners submitted their NIN in the same month. But only 1.3 million NINs were verified and linked during the review period.

A breakdown of the statistics showed that in March, active telephone lines were 196 million, but the number dropped to 192.4 million in April and further dropped to 192.1 million in May 2021. The number of subscribers that submitted their NINs through the networks of MNOs was 90.35 million in March, representing 46 per cent of the total number of subscribers.

The figure increased to 90.38 million in April, representing 47 per cent and further increased to 95.6 million in May, representing 49.7 per cent.

From the total number of NIN submitted, only 588,010, were verified and linked in March 2021, representing 0.6 per cent, only 929,846 were verified and linked in April, representing one per cent, while only 1.3 million NINs were verified and linked in May, representing 1.4 per cent of the total number of submitted NINs.

Total NIN enrolment by MNOs in March was 210,487 with 123,379 generated NINs.

In April, it rose to 413,272 NIN enrolments with 234,499 generated NINs. In May, the figure rose again to 530,893 NIN enrolments with 335,193 generated NINs.

But from March to May, the total NIN enrolments by all NIMC partners, were two million in March, three million in April, and two million in May.

The total NIN penetration, which is the number of NINs successfully linked, was put at 51 million in March, representing 24.1 per cent of Nigeria’s population of 211.4 million, 54 million in April, representing 25.5 per cent of the population, and 56 million in May, representing 27 per cent of the population.

When asked to comment on the low verification figure, both NIMC and NCC declined to comment, but a source close to NIMC said: “The figures are correct but NIMC cannot comment because NIMC is not involved in NIN-SIM linkage, even though NIMC verifies all registered NINs from its back end server.”

NIMC is of the view that the issue of incomplete and inappropriate SIM registration on the network of MNOs, could be responsible for slow NIN-SIM integration, but the Joint Implementation Committee thinks otherwise, blaming the situation of slow verification on poor funding of NIMC, resulting in the inability of NIMC to implement the recommended Bulk NIN Verification process that would speed up NIN verification and integration.

The committee said NIN verification and linkage by MNOs remained meagre at 0.6-1.4 per cent from March through May 2021, in comparison to 46-49.7 per cent of the national telecommunications base that submitted NINs over the period.

It stated that the trend will continue as long as bulk NIN Verification by NIMC is not in place.

The committee’s report said: “It is pertinent to mention that Bulk NIN Verification is still at the Proof-of-Concept (POC) stage since January 2021. NIMC needs to confirm a timeline when Bulk NIN Verification will commence. Without this, MNOs will continue to collect submitted NINs from customers but will not be able to verify and link them to customer’s telephone lines, as required, to achieve the stated objectives of the government. Without Bulk NIN Verification, MNOs would have to resort to overnight Batch NIN Verification processing using the Single NIN Verification API or otherwise invite their customers to visit MNO outlets for Individual NIN verification using the same API. NIMC’s systems would become overwhelmed by the millions of requests for overnight Batch NIN Verification processing from all MNOs leading to poor performance outright failure of the processing systems.”

The committee called on NIMC to take urgent action to rollout Bulk NIN Verification, without which verification of the 95.6m submitted telephone lines, which would continue to grow monthly, cannot happen and government’s directive to verify and link NINs to customer SIMs will not be achieved.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had in December 2020, issued a directive through NCC, for all telecoms subscribers to register their NIN and submit same for to their network operators for verification and linkage.

The initial directive had two weeks window to complete the NIN registration and verification, with a threat to deactivate the SIM of any subscriber who failed to comply within the stipulated period.

The deadline was later extended and since then, government has continued to extend it.

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JOHESU, AHPA issue fresh 15 days nationwide strike notice

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The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a fresh 15 days strike notice.

This followed an unanimously resolution adopted by the two groups to step down the notice of strike due to expire midnight September 17 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days.

It would be recalled that the union had on September 2 issued the Federal Government a 15 days ultimatum to meet its demands or embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.

The JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Chief Matthew Ajorutu, said this in a communique issued at the end of an Expanded National Executive Council emergency meeting of the union via Zoom and physical attendance on Friday in Abuja.

The expanded NEC had the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

Ajorutu said that NEC-in-session had critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

He said that NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

He said that NEC also received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action due to commence at midnight on September 18.

According to Ajorutu, NEC, after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned industrial action, resolved that the Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

He said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘High Level Body (HLB)’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, September 22, as agreed.

“NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High Level Body (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the September 30th, submission window.

“NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.

“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night September 17, and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”

The communique further said that NEC commended all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.

Eagle Online

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Defection: Gumi knocks Fani-Kayode, calls him ‘Judas of Oduduwa’

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Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described Femi Fani-Kayode as the ‘Judas of Oduduwa’ following his defection from the opposition party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Gumi wrote:

“I have for long, neglected the rantings of the Judas of Oduduwa attacking me knowing fully well that he is fake and a traitor.

“Time has now caught up with him and thanks to Allah, all his vituperations are cast in the dustbin of merciless history.

“It is him now, one wonders which of the seven circles of hell this duper will settle if he doesn’t repent.”

Recall that the Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo, berated those fronting for bandits and terrorists in the country. Though he never mentioned names but his rhetorics suggested he was referring to Sheikh Gumi.

On joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, however, said that he was moved by the Spirit to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, pointing out that he was a founding member of the ruling party.

Arogbonlo Israel,Vanguard News Nigeria

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BDCs funding Boko Haram, kidnappings, says CBN governor

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused operators of Bureaux de Change (BDC) of funding terrorism and kidnapping in the country.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Abuja on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

He also vowed that CBN would not rescind its decision to ban the sale of foreign exchange to the BDCs.

Emefiele said the CBN had resolved to stop funding the BDCs in the name of stabilising the forex market.

He said, “We have decided that this will stop and it has stopped for good. It beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and involved in corrupt practices.”

He also said, “We have unwittingly supported activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crime whether it is Boko Haram, kidnapping or all sorts of nefarious activities.

“We the CBN take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer.”

He told bank customers with legitimate requests for forex exceeding the official limit that “your bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit. We will continue to monitor the banks.

“We conducted a study, one of the banks sold in one day forex to 52 people who wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of the 52 had cancelled their tickets. They will have to return the forex or we will pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activity. We are not going to go back there again.”

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