HomeNewsSecurity Agencies Criticized for Not Utilizing NIN-SIM Data Tracking, Says Ex-Minister Pantami

Security Agencies Criticized for Not Utilizing NIN-SIM Data Tracking, Says Ex-Minister Pantami

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Former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, expressed disappointment over security agencies’ failure to use National Identity Numbers (NIN) linked to Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data to combat crime, particularly kidnappings and phone-related offences.

The former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has expressed his disappointment regarding the failure of security agencies to effectively utilize the National Identity Number (NIN) linked to Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data in the fight against rising crime rates, including kidnappings and phone-related offenses.

This criticism comes in the wake of a 2020 directive issued by then-President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which mandated the linking of SIM cards to the NIN of every citizen as part of efforts to enhance security and curb criminal activities.

In a recent tweet, Bashir Ahmad, the Media Aide to President Buhari, raised concerns about the escalating incidents of kidnappings for ransom and called for new legislation or the revision of existing laws to impose the death penalty as a punishment for banditry and kidnapping.

In response to Ahmad’s tweet, Isa Pantami placed blame on security agencies for their failure to effectively utilize the NIN-SIM data in addressing the surging cases of kidnapping for ransom and banditry.

Pantami stated, “The NIN-SIM policy has been effective; however, the relevant institutions responsible for combating criminal activities must ensure its effective utilization when crimes are committed. The main issue lies in the lack of utilization, not the policy itself.”

The former minister expressed his concerns about the non-utilization of the policy and revealed that criminals had threatened his life due to his role in reintroducing it.

Pantami went on to say, “I am more worried than anyone about the lack of utilization, as my life was threatened by criminals for reintroducing this policy, including threats made on BBC Hausa and in national newspapers. I resisted these threats and ensured the policy’s implementation. If the policy is not being effectively utilized by the relevant institutions responsible for safeguarding lives and property, then I am more frustrated than anyone, as I have sacrificed my life and ignored all threats to my personal safety. This is just one aspect of the broader policy.”

During his tenure, Isa Pantami championed the NIN registration policy under President Buhari’s administration, emphasizing that linking citizens’ NIN to their SIM cards would be a crucial tool in combating banditry, kidnapping, and phone-related crimes.

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