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SIMs With Unlinked Submitted NINs Would Not Be Blocked -Telcos

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SIMs With Unlinked Submitted NINs Would Not Be Blocked -Telcos

As the deadline for telephone subscribers with National Identity Numbers (NINs) to register their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) with the identity numbers elapsed today (January 19, 2021), telco operators have assured that SIMs with unlinked submitted NINs would not be blocked.

Newsrand learnt that so far, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had been able to provide about 45 million NINs, as it was able to register about two million people in the last one month after the Federal Government ordered citizens to register their SIMs with valid NINs.

Recall that on December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.

Read Also: Telcos Risk Withdrawal Of Operating License, Here’s How

It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, but many organisations have called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.

Although the NIMC refused to speak on the matter after several calls and messages were sent to senior officials of the commission on the subject, operators in the telecommunications sector revealed that about 43 million NINs had been submitted to the agency for verification.

Speaking on behalf of the firms, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo said the NINs were sent to NIMC for verification in order to ensure that the numbers were harmonised with their respective SIMs.

He said, “I don’t have the number of SIM cards that have been linked but at the last count, NIMC told us that they have about 43 million Nigerians who have NINs.

Read Also: NIMC Staff Suspend Strike

“So, we will be safe to assume that a large percentage of these citizens have delivered their NINs to the operators by way of dialing the USSD access code and/or visiting the operators’ websites and uploading their NINs on the websites.

“And by extension, I will be right to say that operators have delivered those NINs to NIMC. Now the second part of it, which is not in our control, is how many of these numbers uploaded by the operators and forwarded to NIMC have been harmonised?

“How many of them have been verified? That is not in our control, but as an industry, the large numbers we received from subscribers have since been delivered to NIMC.”

According to Adebayo, it was now the call of the commission to educate the public on the number of NINs that had been interrogated and cleared for harmonisation with SIMs.

Read Also: NCC Orders Suspension Of New SIM Sale, Registration

“It is now for NIMC to confirm to the public whether those numbers have been verified, but as many subscribers who had sent their NINs to us, we have delivered same to NIMC,” Adebayo added.

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Daily Headline News (Wednesday, 12-5-2021)

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Here are the top 5 news of the day.

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EFCC Says It Recovered $153m, 80 Buildings From Alison-Madueke

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EFCC Says It Recovered $153m, 80 Buildings From Alison-Madueke

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has disclosed that it recovered $153 million and 80 buildings from former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who has since been under probe for the looting of public funds and money laundering.

Making this disclosure, the new EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa said the buildings are valued at $80 million, adding that all the recoveries have been handed over to the Federal Government.

Bawa, however, noted that bringing the former minister to justice was still far from reality, given the fact that she is out of Nigeria’s jurisdiction and the challenges associated with bringing her home to face justice.

The EFCC chief’s words: “There are several cases surrounding Diezani’s case. I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot. In one of the cases, we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 property in Nigeria valued at about $80 million. We have done quite a bit on that.

“The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery, is also ongoing across the federation. We are looking forward to the time we will, maybe, have her in the country, and, of course, review things and see what will happen going forward.
The case has certainly not been abandoned.’’

Speaking further, Bawa maintained that he’s ready to leave the job if anyone tried to make him do what was illegal.

“I am not going to pay allegiance to individuals in the government,” he said. Bawa pointed out that though he was young in age; he had paid the price on the job, having been among the pioneer staff of EFCC and passed through the crucible to reach the top.

“I rose through the ranks. The only job I know after graduation is the EFCC, which I joined in 2004. I rose through the ranks from an ordinary team member, to the first EFCC team leader from the regular staff of the EFCC.

“I became a sectional head, became the zonal head in Ibadan, zonal head in Port Harcourt, and zonal head in Lagos. Lagos is the biggest operational hub of the EFCC with over 600 personnel. Port Harcourt is next to it in terms of complexity and staff strength. I happen to be the first EFCC regular staff to head three different zones before my appointment as the chairman.

“The records are there. And it is a challenge I have taken upon myself to do without fear or favour. That is the truth. If anybody is coming to ask me to do something that is contrary to my conscience or what the EFCC is set out to achieve, I’m going to resign,” Bawa vowed.

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ALERT: Dreaded India’s COVID-19 Variant Discovered In Nigeria

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ALERT: Dreaded India's COVID-19 Variant Discovered In Nigeria

The African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in the Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State, has detected the COVID-19 strain, currently ravaging India, in Nigeria.

The variant, according to a report, was detected nearly three weeks ago and has been communicated to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had again restricted gatherings at worship centres and banned nightclubs following reports that the devastating COVID-19 strain in South Africa had spread to 23 other countries.

The detection of the Indian strain in Nigeria contributed to the fresh regulations issued by the Federal Government.

The detection had been listed on GISAID, a global science initiative that provided open access to genomic data of influenza viruses.

A notification dated Sunday, April 25, 2021, sent by Professor Christian Hapi of the ACEGID to the NCDC, read in part, “We have found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in the country, specifically in Edo and Osun states.”

Hapi, however, clarified that the strain in India has two more mutations than the one identified in Nigeria which makes the one in India more aggressive.

“What we have is the B1.617 from India. That is the variant they had but that variant has now evolved beyond the mutation that we identified.

“The one India evolved by two mutations. It is the same strain with India but their own now has a couple of mutations. So, it is the same as what we detected but also different in characteristics,” he added.

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