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Bill seeking synchronisation of NIN, SIM registration passes second reading

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The House of Representatives has passed through second reading a bill seeking to provide legal backing on the compulsory use of National Identity Number (NIN) in the registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards by all mobile telecommunication network operators with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, the sponsor Hon Sergius Ogun, said that though the Executive had already started the process of getting all users of mobiles phones to link their SIM cards to their NIN, the bill was necessary to give legislative backing to the measure taken by the Executive.

The lawmaker stated that the bill was the legislative contribution to the ongoing fight against the increasing cases of criminality in the country orchestrated by bandits, terrorists, internet fraudsters and armed robbers, who take advantage of easy access to telecom networks.

According to him, amending the NIMC Act to include registration of SIM cards with every subscriber’s NIN would make it easy to uncover the identity behind various criminal activities being carried out in society.

“National identity management system is critical to the development of any economy. It provides a universal identity infrastructure for a country to access and confirm the identities of individuals residing in its territory for economic planning, intelligence gathering and social development.”

Ogun added that it was in recognition of the foregoing, that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established in 2007, to create, manage, maintain and operate a unified National Identity Database for Nigeria.

In a related development, the House also passed through second reading a bill to establish Federal Road Safety Commission Road Marshal Assistants Training as a National Diploma and National Certificate of Education Awarding Institution to Provide
Academic and Professional Training; and for Related Matters (HB. 1619) sponsored by Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin.

Similarly, there was the introduction of the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023, sponsored by Hon. Babajimi Benson, and four other bills including, “Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023, African Union Development Agency-new Partnership for Africa’s Development Bill, 2023, Carriage of Goods by land (Road and Rail) Bill, 2023, and Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023, all sponsored by Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos.

The House also received a report of the Committee on Public Accounts on a Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of an Independent Office of the Auditor General for Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory and provide for the Audit of Area Councils Public Accounts and for Related Matters (HB.1782) laid by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Wole Oke.

Meanwhile, the speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has set up a harmonization team on an insurance bill recently passed by both chambers.

Members of the harmonization team included Hon. Darlington Nwokocha (Chairman), Hon. Benjamin Kalu, and Hon. Wole Oke amongst others.

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