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NIMC Discontinues Old National Identity Card

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Old National Identity Card

By Ahmed Rahma

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced the discontinuation of the old national identity card.

The agency confirmed this new development in a post on Wednesday, advising citizens with the old number embedded in the first issued national ID card to visit any of its offices nationwide for another one.

According to NIMC, the old number cannot be used to update the registration records of subscribers with telecommunications service providers as directed by the National Communications Commission (NCC).

On December 15, 2020, the regulatory agency for the telco sector had directed that any subscriber that fails to synchronise his/her SIM card(s) with the National Identification Number (NIN) on or before December 30, 2020, should be disconnected.

After a public outcry, the exercise was extended to January 19 and then to February 9, 2021.

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But as the deadline draws closer, NIMC said those with the old ID number would be unable to link their SIM cards with the NIN because it is invalid.

Some subscribers had said they submitted the old number but was not rejected. However, Business Post gathered that after the number of the NIN, the telcos will still have to forward them to the federal agency for verification and linking if valid.

For those with the old number, this may be their fate and in order not to be caught napping, NIMC has advised them to upgrade the number.

“The old national identity card has since been discontinued. If you still hold the old ID card, you should enrol for the National Identity Number (NIN).

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“Visit any NIN enrolment centre today to obtain your NIN and be identify for life,” the notice on the official handle of NIMC on Twitter read.

Commenting on the post, some concerned citizens expressed their displeasure over the handling of the registration process by the agency and the federal government, especially in the aspect of exposure of the vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the crowd at the NIMC offices.

“If you all have disconnected the old nin number, are you expecting people like my grandma who is old and frail and vulnerable to COVID-19 to come to the crowded centres to stands for hours just to register her name then be sent back home? @Zulu_EmpressTee queried.

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“Common on, what is this? You mean you are going to subject those old folks that went through difficulty to get this card done then, to this present inhumane hurdles of getting the new NIN? Naija una matter na lost case,” another Nigeria identified as Adebayo Rilwan posted.

Replying to the commission, a Twitter handle @NnajiCemeka, wrote, “Have you all not noticed that no Nigeria owned social media is interactive? They don’t respond to questions because we were not expected to ask questions but to obey orders”

The national ID card provides a verifiable means of identifying citizens and creates a comprehensive database for providing public services.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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ECOWAS Court Restrains Nigeria From Imposing Sanctions On Twitter

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ECOWAS Court

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice in Abuja has restrained the federal government from imposing sanctions or harassing, intimidating, arresting or prosecuting Twitter.

It also restricted the government from carrying out such actions against any other social media service provider, as well as media houses, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging the government’s suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria.

The court gave the restraining order following the suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians.

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In the suit, the applicants argued that the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government was illegal

The federal government on June 4 said it has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria as its operation threatened national security.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued by his office in Abuja.

The statement cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

According to the statement, the Minister said the federal government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

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The suspension came a few days after Twitter deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s official account.

The tweet had referenced the Nigerian civil war as the President threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.

It sparked reactions from many Nigerians who interpreted the statement as a threat to commit human rights violations.

On Tuesday, the federal government set up a team to engage with Twitter over the recent suspension of the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

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The approval was announced in a statement in Abuja today by Mr Mohammed, who will chair the team.

The committee comprises the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Works and Housing, Minister of State for Labour and Employment as well as other relevant government agencies.

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Buhari Constitutes Team to Engage Twitter Over Ban

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Twitter Fake news

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A team has been put together by President Muhammadu Buhari to engage Twitter, popular social media platform, over the suspension of its operations in Nigeria.

Twitter was banned in Nigeria by the federal government in early June after it deleted a tweet of President Buhari for violating one of its rules.

The President had posted a series of tweets and in one of them, he threatened to treat those fomenting trouble in the South-East in a language they understand.

He had earlier said those agitating to leave the country were too young to know about the losses the region suffered in the Nigerian Civil War that last 30 months between. Millions of Igbos were said to have died during the war.

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A few days before Mr Buhari’s tweet, the heroes of the war were honoured on May 30 across the region and there was a stay-at-home order given by the Indigenous People of Briafra (IPOB), which was strictly adhered to.

So, when the President posted about dealing with people from the region in a language they understand, it was taken to be a genocide threat, which Twitter frowns at.

The federal government, which was angered by the action of the microblogging website, retaliated by suspending operations of the company in Nigeria, making it impossible for residents of the country to have access to the platform.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who announced the ban, has been going around to explain the reason for the action.

He had said the indefinite suspension was because the platform to undermine the “corporate existence” of Nigeria. He later said Twitter has approached the government for talks.

On Tuesday, his media aide, Mr Segun Adeyemi, disclosed in a statement that Mr Buhari has “approved the composition” of a team to have discussions with Twitter over the issue.

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He said the team is to be led by Mr Mohammed with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo; as well as other relevant government agencies as members.

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Second Niger Bridge to be Ready 2022—FG Assures

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Second Niger Bridge

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has reaffirmed its determination to complete the construction of the Second Niger Bridge next year.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, gave this assurance at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, June 20, to mark the sixth year anniversary of the present administration.

According to Mr Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between South-East and South-West Nigeria, will be delivered between the second and third quarter of 2022.

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Records show that construction of the bridge commenced on September 1, 2018, with construction cost put at N336 billion when the contract deal was signed.

The minister, however, made no mention if the construction cost of the facility had changed since the commencement of work.

He said that the project would facilitate the influx of investments to the South East when completed, noting that the construction work had gone beyond the water level, explaining that most bridge works were done underwater.

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“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures underwater often costs a lot of money.

“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter,” he affirmed, saying that construction time was lost because of COVID-19.

The bridge is 1.6 kilometres long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3 kilometres highway and an inter-change expected to be completed next year.

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The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta State to Ozubulu, Ogbaru, and other communities in Anambra State.

The existing Niger Bridge linking Onitsha and Asaba was completed in December 1965. It was built by the French construction giant, Dumez.

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