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NATIONAL: Extorting NIN applicants will land you in jail, NIMC warns staff, others

THE National Identity Management Commission has warned those exploiting the desperation of Nigerians to get enrolled for National Identification Number for pecuniary gain to desist or risk seven years in jail if caught.

The commission stated that the enrollment is free.

It made this known in a statement posted on its social media platforms on Thursday, urging Nigerians to report cases of extortion for onward prosecution.

The statement titled, ‘NIN Enrolment Is Free’, read, “The punishment for extortion if convicted is seven years imprisonment as stipulated in sections 14, 20, & 21, of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act and Sections 10 & 12 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.”

Speaking on the reason for the statement, NIMC spokesman, Kayode Adegoke said the commission took the step following complaints by applicants who accuse some staff of the Commission and some third-party agents of extortion.

“The warning is strictly for members of staff not to extort applicants. NIN enrolment is free but people have been complaining of extortion and we have provided the lines for them to file in their evidence. The Commission has zero-tolerance for extortion and according to the ICPC Act, anyone caught risks a jail term of seven years,” Adegoke said on Thursday.

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Communication Commission ordered telecommunications companies to block the Subscribers’ Identification Modules (SIMs) of phone users who failed to link their phones to their National Identity Number.

The initial deadline for the registration was Dec.31, 2020 but following the intervention of the House of Representatives, the deadline was extended by almost three weeks.

However, since the announcement large crowds have been thronging the NIMC web portal for the process of obtaining their National Identity Number led to the crash of the portal last week.

Also large crowds also resurfaced at NIMC centres nationwide this week after the Christmas break.

As of October, the total number of mobile network connections was 207.58 million, but currently, only 43 million Nigerians have NIN, thus 164 million telephone users are at the risk of being deactivated on January 19, 2021.

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