Security agencies not utilising NIN-SIM data tracking – Pantami
The former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has expressed disappointment over security agencies’ failure to use the National Identity Number linked to Subscriber Identity Module data to combat crime, especially kidnappings and phone-related offences.
This criticism follows the 2020 directive by then-President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, mandating the linking of SIM cards to the NIN of every citizen.
In a Sunday tweet, the Media Aide to President Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, raised the alarm about the ongoing surge in kidnappings for ransom, calling for new legislation or the revision of existing laws to enforce the death penalty as punishment for banditry and kidnapping.
In reaction to the tweet, Pantami blamed security agencies for not utilising the NIN-SIM data to tackle rising kidnapping for ransom and banditry.
“NIN-SIM policy has been working,” said Pantami.
“However, the relevant institutions fighting criminality are to be requested to ensure they utilise it effectively when a crime is committed.
“Lack of utilising it is the main problem, not the policy,” Pantami said.
The former minister, who decried the non-utilisation of the policy, claimed criminals threatened his life for reintroducing it.
He said, “On the lack of utilisation, I am more worried than anyone, as my life was threatened by criminals for reintroducing it, including on BBC Hausa and national dailies; I resisted and ensured its implementation.
“If it is not being utilised by the relevant institutions in charge of securing lives and property, then I am more frustrated than any person, as I sacrificed my life and ignored all the threats to my life. This is just a point out of 100 on the policy,” the former minister added.
He championed the NIN registration policy under Buhari’s administration.
He vowed that linking citizens’ NIN to their SIMs would be a crucial tool in combating banditry, kidnapping, and phone-related crimes.