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SERAP Clarifies Position On NIN Registration

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By Daniel Dafe
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has clarified its position on the National Identity Number (NIN) registration and linking it with SIM cards, saying that the body is not against this policy of the Buhari-led administration.

SERAP in a tweet via its official handle added that “NIN registration in itself is a useful mechanism for improving the security situation in the country.”

The group however expressed concerne about the timing and methodology being used to achieve the objective of registration, adding that “it threatens people’s human rights and will lead to collective punishment.”

“Many people already have their data captured in existing databases in government agencies.

“The current methodology of asking everybody to register also undermines the mandate of the NIMC to harmonise and integrate existing identification databases into the National Identity Database, especially when many Nigerians that have applied for NIN are yet to get their numbers,” the tweet also said.

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Furthermore, SERAP opined that “asking people to register for NIN in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is unsafe and doesn’t portray the government well in the eyes of the public.

“Therefore, as we have stated in our open letter to President Buhari, the government should start by asking the NIMC to harmonise and integrate existing identification databases [BVN, voter’s card, passport, etc] in government agencies into the National Identity Database

“We understand that this may not capture everyone. If this is the case, authorities can ask those not captured under existing databases to register for NIN and to link their SIM cards with this. Those that will be affected should be given adequate time and opportunity to register.”

According to the tweet, “implementing these recommendations would improve public trust and confidence in the registration process, be cost-effective, and remove the risks of COVID-19, as well as show that the government is willing and able to implement and enforce existing laws and standards.”

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