Nigerians face extortion and Covid-19 when registering national identity numbers

On December 15th, 2020, the Nigerian National Commission issued a directive that all SIM cards must be linked with the owner’s National Identity Number (NIN) before the end of the year, in an attempt to shore up digital security.

The hastily issued directive set off a nationwide scramble to register NIN numbers in large crowds in the middle of a worsening pandemic, and opened an opportunity for government officials to extort millions of Nigerians.

At the time the directive was issued only 42 million out of the 198 million active mobile line users had an NIN, according to a statement from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the government agency in charge of managing identity registration…..

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