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NIMC to Increase NIN Enrolment to 2.5m Monthly

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NIN Enrolment

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has directed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to increase the monthly National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment from the estimated 500,000 registrations to 2.5 million.

This came from the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Pantami, when he received a briefing from the management team of the NIMC on their activities following the final transfer of the supervision of the commission to the Ministry.

Business Post had reported in August that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the transfer of the body to the ministry to drive the realisation of the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

A statement from the spokesperson of the Minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, reiterated that digital identity remains one of the key requirements of any digital economy and it is captured under pillar number 6 of NDEPS.

During the visit, Mr Pantami commended the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Aziz, for his commitment and passion, noting that there has been a considerable increase in enrolments since he became the Chief Executive Officer of NIMC.

He then charged the agency on the need to raise the bar even higher by ensuring that the enrolment rate is 5 times the current rate. He said this is imperative because the NIN will soon be made mandatory for accessing government services and interventions.

The Minister used the opportunity of the meeting to discuss the challenges fighting against the success of NIMC’s activities, including the challenge of inadequate funds. He assured the NIMC team that he will do all he can to address these challenges.

He also stated that he will continue to meet with NIMC regularly until he is certain the performance of the commission is enhanced significantly and efficient services are offered to Nigerians.

He directed the NIMC DG to set up complaint units in all the commission’s centres in order to ensure that the complaints of the citizens are promptly addressed.

He also directed the agency to interface more with citizens and to also run awareness campaigns on all media channels and in Nigerian languages to encourage citizens to obtain their digital identity.

Meanwhile, the Minister also stated that he is committed to ensuring that citizens easily obtain secure digital identity and urged them to enrol as soon as possible.

“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to supporting NIMC to ensure that Nigerians derive the benefits of a functional digital identity system. Nigerians are encouraged to visit NIMC accredited centres soon for their digital identity,” he added.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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COVID-19: Jesus Christ Would Have Supported Vaccination—APC Group

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Register for COVID-19 Vaccination

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A group known as the APC Mandate Defenders has slammed Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Mr Paul Enenche, for criticising the federal government for directing federal civil servants to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by December 2021.

The cleric had described this directive as one from the pit of hell, while the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law, Mr Monday Ubani, threatened to sue the federal government if this was enforced.

But in a statement issued on Saturday, the APC group said the central idea behind the vaccination was to save lives, stressing that Jesus Christ would have done the same if he were to be alive in this generation, saying compulsory vaccination is not from the pit of hell.

In the statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr Ifeanyi Emeka, it said it was very proud of Mr Enenche for leading the Christian folks back to God especially the several charitable works and donations made during the lockdowns but then, the pastor ought to have known that COVID-19 was still constantly looking for who to kill on daily basis.

“However, we are praying that God will further open the spiritual eyes of pastor Enenche and other men of God opposed to compulsory vaccination so that they can see how deadly the virus is and probably recommit themselves to the ongoing battle against the virus,” it stated.

APC Mandate Defenders used the opportunity to condemn Mr Ubani for threatening to sue the FG, noting that the virus is a biological war waged against humanity that requires the deployment of all weapons to win the battle, emphasising that the lawyer ought to have known that in war all is fair.

“Since the law is made for man and not man for the law, compulsory vaccination for civil servants is one of the fundamental ways of flattening the curve,” it said.

“Accordingly, Dr Ubani and others opposed to compulsory vaccination should note that civil servants do travel to other countries for training and other essential assignments on behalf of the country and it will not be right if Nigerians are denied access to such countries as a result of their vaccination status or vaccine Passport which is the new normal in the world today.

“As a learned gentleman, Dr Ubani ought to have also known that sometimes, what is right may not be legal and what is legal may not be right.

“Therefore, it is in Nigeria’s national interest that civil servants be forced to take the vaccines for the safety of Nigerians and for the preservation of our corporate existence as members of the inter-connected world.

“We, therefore, advise Nigerians to take the vaccines and join the battle to flatten the curve in the country,” the statement noted.

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UN to Cut Food Rations in North-East Nigeria

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Cut Food Rations

By Adedapo Adesanya

*Internally Displaced Persons Hit 2 million in September

*Needs $55m

The United Nations through its World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that it may soon be forced to cut food rations to more than half a million women, men and children in north-eastern Nigeria.

This was disclosed by WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa, Mr Chris Nikoi, in a statement over the weekend, explaining that there was a need for urgent funding to continue life-saving operations in crisis-ridden Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

The WFP director stated that the cuts would come just as severe hunger reached a five-year high in the country, in the wake of years of conflict and insecurity, noting that the situation had been worsened by the socio-economic fallout from COVID-19, high food prices and limited food supply.

“Cutting rations means choosing who gets to eat and who goes to bed hungry. We are seeing funding for our life-saving humanitarian work dry up just at the time when hunger is at its most severe,” the director stated.

Mr Nikoi warned that if at least $55 million was not received in a matter of weeks, WFP would have no choice but to cut food rations and reduce the number of people it serves, where assistance is already prioritised for the most vulnerable as early as November.

“Our food assistance is a lifeline for millions whose lives have been upended by conflict and have almost nothing to survive on. “We must act now to save lives and avoid disruptions to this lifeline,” Mr Nikoi added.

He said that the number of Internally Displaced People (IDP) forced to flee their homes in search of safety in northeast Nigeria had been rising steadily, reaching a new all-time high of over 2 million in September 2021.

The WFP director said that current food security analyses showed that 4.4 million people in northeast Nigeria did not know where their next meal would come from, and over 1 million children are already malnourished.

He cited continued attacks on communities by non-state armed groups, harsh lean season conditions amid an economy dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19, as portending great danger for the people.

Mr Nikoi added that high food prices and a severe reduction in household purchasing power had also contributed to a bleak outlook for the most vulnerable people in northeast Nigeria, warning that despite increasing needs, WFP may soon be unable to sustain life-saving operations in the conflict-riddled north-east.

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Land Grabbing: Group Tells Lagos to Obey Supreme Court Judgement

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Shangisha Magodo Supreme Court Judgement

By Mohammed Kerimu

Members of the Shangisha/Magodo Landlord Association of Nigeria have advised the Lagos State Government to obey and execute the judgement of the supreme court ordering the allocation of 549 plots of land them.

This call was made on Friday at a press conference organised by the group, where the Chairman of the association, Mr Adebayo Adeyiga, addressed newsmen in Lagos.

The group appealed to the state government to complement the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari by executing the court order and not to continue to show attitudes suggesting that the state is operating a different constitution other than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which President Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State swore to defend.

The body emphasised that as long as Lagos State was still part of the Nigerian federation, it must operate within the context of the law because the state itself is a creation of the Nigerian Constitution.

The group wondered why Lagos State Government that is among the states clamouring for the implementation of a court decision on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) even when the matter is still in the court could turn a blind eye to the execution of the supreme court judgement ordering the allocation of 549 plots of land to members of the group.

It will be recalled that about 37 years ago, the Lagos State Government collected Shangisha/Magodo land belonging to members of the association under the guise that it will use it for the construction of an international standard hospital; relying on the over-riding public interest classification of the Land Use Act of Nigeria.

Accordingly, the state evicted the landlords and pulled down their houses and other immovable properties in the area but to the surprise of everyone, the then administration, instead of using the land for its intended purpose, allegedly converted the land to personal properties; allocating plots to their family members, friends and cronies despite the excruciating pains the original owners were subjected to.

Angered by such development, members of the association initiated several court actions up to the apex court before the supreme court finally ruled that the land should be returned to its original owners since the intended objective was not achieved.

However, the state government paid deaf ears to the judgement behaving as if Lagos State was above the law of Nigeria.

The group, therefore, called on President Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami to prevail on Lagos State government to execute the judgement of the apex court, saying justice is distorted when the victim pays for the conducts of the accused.

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