The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami has opened up on why terrorists still make calls demanding for ransom even after NIN-Sim card linkage.
According to Pantami, NIN-Sim Card linkage cannot totally curb the activities of the terrorists and kidnappers, but can only reduce the ransom calls by the criminals.
The minister asserted that Nigerians should not expect the policy to curb the activities of criminals overnight, saying that it is a gradual process.
He, however, disclosed that significant gains have been recorded since the linking of Sim Cards with the NIN began, adding that there had been a notable drop in the number of calls by fraudsters to unsuspecting phone users.
The minister made this known over the weekend in Umuahia, Abia State, during the World National Identity Day Celebration.
Pantami was represented by the Director of Research and Development at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Collins Agu.
He said: ”The issue of kidnappers’ calls has actually reduced with respect to ransom by phones. The sanitation of the existing system cannot be done overnight. It’s an ongoing process.
”Those 419 calls we normally get most of the time have actually reduced because most of the numbers now are attached to the NIN.
”It needs a little bit more time before the entire system will be completely sanitised. But a tremendous impact has been made so far.
”At least for the first time, most people are scared of doing certain things with their phone numbers – making malicious calls.”
Speaking further, Agu regretted that the public outcry that greeted the blocking of unregistered sim cards slowed down efforts toward sanitising the telecom system.
He said: ”Recall that when the Minister came and blocked a lot of numbers, there was an outcry by the telecoms, and he relaxed a bit on humanitarian grounds.
”That is also slowing down the whole process because if he had gone the hardliner way, more would have criticized him. It’s a gradual process but some progress has been made.”
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