Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, has claimed he was threatened by some citizens over his decision to enforce the implementation of the National Identity Policy.
Pantami stated this during his remarks at this year’s National Identity Day commemoration titled, ‘Institutions as Critical Stakeholders for Citizens’ Mobilisation’, in Abuja on Friday.
Explaining the importance of digital identity to development, he noted that, “According to World Bank, one billion people don’t have any legal identification, especially in Africa. That is why we have uncountable challenges in Africa, because we don’t have data to plan for our citizenry”.
He emphasized that Nigeria has captured more citizens into her National Identity Database than other African countries.
The minister said that the essence of the event is to remind citizens why digital identity is important.
“We can only get our digital economy right when we continue to improve and encourage our citizens to enroll in our national database. By the time I took supervision of NIMC, the total number of registration centres were not up to 1,000 but today, we have over 5,000.
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“Today our national database is on auto drive. We have established over 19 national policies and all of them are being implemented. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria.
“When we commenced the process, many people turned against me.
“My life was threatened because of the introduction of NIN and sim registration on BBC radio and many more and I resisted believing that nobody can control my life in this world, only Almighty God. They have been defeated.”