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Amid Terrorism Scandal, Pantami Lifts Ban On SIM Card Registration

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Amid Terrorism Scandal, Pantami Lifts Ban On SIM Card Registration

Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has lifted the ban on SIM card registration with a mandatory National Identity Number (NIN).

According to Dr. Femi Adeluyi, the minister’s Technical Assistant (Information Technology), who made this disclosure in a statement seen by Newsrand, starting from April 19, 2021, the approval for the activation of the new SIM card registration will take effect.

The statement read: “For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.

“In the event that a data-only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations.”

Speaking on the NIN registration progress, Adeluyi added that the biometric verification process had been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the National Identity Management Commission standards.

He said the revised policy would ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.

He stated, “The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.

“The minister has also directed Nigerian Communications Commission and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.”

As reported on Newsrand, Pantami had been linked with global extremist groups –the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, after declaring support for them in his past preachings.

Inquisitive Nigerians are however curious if the minister’s move was to divert attention from his terrorism scandal…

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

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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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