..,Okays automated NIN-SIM linkage system
….Okays multi-billion naira power projects in Daura Emirate, Potiskum, Ogun
….Okays Women Economic Empowerment policy
From Juliana Taiwo-Abuja, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new policy that can now allow Nigerians request their commercial banks to provide them with a debit card which doubles as their National Identity Card at no extra cost than the normal fees charged for debit cards.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents after Wednesday’s valedictory meeting of the Council’s meeting at the Aso Rock Villa.
According to him, the memo is from the National Identity Management Commission allowing banks to print debit cards that double as National identity cards.
“It is going to be a form of multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa or any other kind of card,”
Pantami said although the NIMC Act 2007 only mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number and not necessarily a printout card, demands for cards have swelled nonetheless.
He explained that “As in the NIMC Act 2007, section 27, what is mandatory for our citizens and legal residents is the acquiring of the National Identity Number, not the card. However, the card is optional.
“But many citizens, particularly those living in rural communities, always go to NIMC offices complaining that they need the card at hand, even though it’s optional.
“To make it easier, NIMC last year, we introduced a smart ID card you can download from NIMC app. It is just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”
To ease the difficulty, Pantami said “NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria so citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks.”
“The bank is permitted to print the card along with either Mastercard or Visa card. It is going to be a form of multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs on our citizens.
“So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple purpose where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’. Both of them are going to be printed on the same card and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs.
“So that memo has also been approved by the Federal Executive Council,” Pantami said.
The Minister revealed that NIMC and the CBN signed a nondisclosure agreement to protect the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants.
“NIMC and the central bank signed a nondisclosure agreement where your privacy and your confidentiality must be respected in the course of providing the card for you.
“When you apply for the card, the bank will apply online to NIMC through their database. When they verify and confirm that your record in the database is in alignment with your record in NIMC database, it will be permitted and the card is going to be printed for you immediately,” the outgoing Minister told journalists.
Pantami said Council also okayed a memo proposing the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual SIM cards.
The system, he noted, is to consolidate the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage.
He said “As we all know that previous administrations made efforts to verify NIN and SIM starting from 2011 without success. In February 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the implementation of the policy and the revised version of the policy was also launched and unveiled by Mr. President on May 6, 2021.
“As it stands today, the NIN and SIM policy registration is being implemented. In order to consolidate the implementation.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission came up with a proposal that will enhance the implementation of the policy and bring many more benefits to it.”
Pantami boasted that the automated system will sanitise the database and ease the process of SIM replacement for Nigerians or legal residents.
The Council also approved contracts to boost power supply in various parts of the country.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said: “Council approved award of contract for the engineering procurement, construction and financing on the implementation of 330 KV and 132 kV line transmission lines and 33 KV, 11 KV and 400 PE distribution line project under phase 1 of the presidential power initiatives in favour of two contractors in the sum total of $581,629,355.93, inclusive of 7.5%, at the prevailing exchange rate with period of completion 36 months as indicated. “The recipient companies for lot one, from DL from Benin and Enugu DISCOS, Messes SLD electric. Then, Lot DM 3 Abuja, Jos, Kano, Kaduna DISCOS, Messes China civil engineering construction cooperation totaling distance of around 13,000 kilometers for the two LOT and it has been graciously approved by council.”
The minister also said “Council approved the award of contract for the construction of 750 kilowatt solar PV power plant at the headquarters of the where TCN is also situated in favor of Proserv Energy Services Limited in the sum of N1.6 billion inclusive of 7.5% VAT with completion period of six months.”
Aliyu said “Council also approved a routine maintenance for the Transmission Company of Nigeria. The council approved contract for the upgrading of the substation in Potiskum town in Yobe State with 132 power transformer. It is an existing substation, which has been there for a very long time with only one transformer and it serves a lot of areas around Potiskum, it is the largest town in the State with a very huge population and is the hub for commerce and transportation. So, with this upgrade, Potiskum will become a hub for electricity transmission and distribution.
“The other component of it is the line bringing additional line from Damaturu. Before now, the line is coming from Gombe, which is over 200 kilometers. It is a 132 single line coming into Potiskum to power the substation. So, having now 330 substitution in Damaturu, that makes it easier and more prudent to take electricity from from Damaturu to Potiskum over a distance of 120 kilometers. Because the longer you take the electricity on a 132 line, you get low quality of electricity.
“So, with the 132 from Gombe single line and now this proposed one coming from Damaturu to Potiskum, you will have double circuit and with additional transformer of 132 cable, that is one by 60 MB. The second one on that memo is construction of two by 60 MBA and 132 line a transmission substation at Sapade in Ogun state and in favor of Messes VNK international technologists at the total cost of a foreign component $10.2 million and local component of N3.3 billion naira.
“The third one is the supply and installation of 33 KV substation equipment at Daura Emirate Katsina state, in favor of eases Power Deal Construction limited in the sum of N4 billion.”
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said FEC approved Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) policy to help get women into the mainstream of financial plans and to ensure that they were carried along in nation building.
While briefing, Attorney General and Minister of Federation, Abubakar Malami, said cabinet meeting also okayed the regularization of the Public Private Partnership arrangement between the Federal Ministry of Justice and Lexis of South Africa for the publication of the laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
He said the contract was reviewed to accommodate technological development and as well as application and operation of the ICRC Act as it relates to public private partnership.
Malami said council also approved the operationalization and deployment of federal government contracts administration system.
He said it is a digitalized arrangement to ensure that the interest of the federal government was not compromised in the art of drafting contracts.
The minister added that council approved the renewal of the implementation of public private partnership arrangement between the Federal Ministry of Justice and Messsrs Jeffreps Integrated Services Limited for the publishing and marketing of the Court of Appeal specialized law reports.
“But this time around we are taking into consideration the new innovations with particular reference the public private partnership arrangement which has not been the tradition before. And then the ICRC Act, which has not been in existence, and new innovation associated with technology, to have them accommodated in the contract going forward.
“Law reform is a compendium of the judgments of the Court of Appeal over time,” he added.