COVID-19: NIN Registration May Be Suspended – Minister

Olorunnimbe Mamora, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health says the government may call for the suspension of the ongoing National Identity Number (NIN) registration due to the violation of COVID-19 protocols at the registration centres.

HumAngle reported that National Identity Commission (NIMC) registration centres across the country were overcrowded by Nigerians who were not observing social distancing measure.

Nigerians have been racing against time to beat the February 9, 2021 deadline set by the government for them to link their NIN with SIM cards or risk being disconnected.

Nigerian Government had initially issued a two-week deadline for Nigerians to link their SIM cards with NIN but was forced to extend the deadline after public outcry.

The government added a three-week extension for Nigerians with existing NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021, to link their SIM cards with NIN and a six-week extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021.

But as public concerns grow over the violation of COVI-19 protocols at registration centres, there has also been an uproar over the failure of the NIMC to provide hand sanitisers for people and the staff at the centres.

Mamora in an interview with Channels Television, expressed dismay over how people gather in multitudes, describing the gathering as a super-spreader of the virus.

“Nobody feels good; I don’t feel good looking at the picture where people are gathered in multitudes. It’s like a super spreader event which we don’t like,” he said.

The minister added that it is the duty of the government to protect its citizens by ensuring that they comply with COVID-19 prevention protocols.

“We have the duty as government to ensure that people are protected; we also have a duty to ensure people comply within the limit of what is good for the society at large,” Mamora said.

As a result of that, he hinted that the government may suspend the registration process until a proper reordering of the whole system is done. 

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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