Telecommunication consumers are lamenting the decision of the Federal Government to implement the National Identification Number-Subscriber Identity Module policy after the Nigeria Identity Management Commission said its infrastructure can accommodate only 100 million Nigerians.
The consumers under the aegis of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers were reacting to comments by the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Aziz.
According to the DG, the commission’s database is at 80 per cent of its capacity with over 80 million unique NINs issued.
He said this during an interview on the Frontiers Show on the Nigerian Television Authority over the weekend.
He added that the commission presently has the capacity to issue about three million NINs monthly but hopes to increase its capacity soon.
Aziz said, “We built it (the database) to cater for a 100 million. Right now, we are at eighty million. Also, we have the government’s approval to upgrade it. So, before we reach there, we must have upgraded to about 250 million.
“So, we don’t have issues with that. Most of the time, our major challenges are either power or the bandwidth of the connectivity that we have but not the infrastructure.”
According to him, the goal of the commission is to enroll every Nigerian, but it is lacking funding to implement upgrades.
He said that the NIMC got approval to upgrade its capacity in July 2021 but has yet to receive funding to the effect.
He added, “We are trying to upgrade the system. We have gotten the government’s approval since July last year. We are following up to get the funding. Funding is a challenge, but I don’t want to call it a challenge because it is a challenge for everyone.”
Aziz hinted that Nigerians might be compelled to pay for the enrolment process in the future.
According to President, NATCOMS, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, the decision of the Federal Government to implement the SIM-NIN policy despite NIMC’s lack of capacity was unjustifiable.