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FG Gives Telcos 14 Days To Block SIM Cards Registered Without NIN

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After December 30, 2020, all Subscriber Identification Modules that are not registered with valid National Identification Numbers (NIN) on the network of telecommunications companies shall be blocked, the Federal Government has declared.

It was gathered in Abuja on Tuesday that the declaration was part of resolutions reached during an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry that was convened by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

The spokesperson of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the meeting was convened following the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators.

He stated that at the meeting, the need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was exhaustively discussed.

The NCC said stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures had now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.

The commission outlined decisions taken for immediate implementation by all network operators to include the affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend the registration of new SIMs by all operators.

It added, “Operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number to update SIM registration records.

“The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020, and end by 30 December 2020). After the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.”

The NCC stated that a ministerial taskforce comprising the minister and all the CEOs (among others) would serve as members to monitor compliance by all networks.

“Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of the operating license,” the commission stated.

It urged the general public to ensure that their NINs were captured in their SIM registration data, adding that all inconveniences which might be occasioned by this directive were deeply regretted.

The meeting had in attendance the chief executive officers and management of the NCC and the National Information Technology Development Agency.

Others include the National Identity Management Commission, as well as the CEOs and management staff of all service providers in the industry.

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PTF: COVID Vaccination Certificate Will Become A Travel Requirement

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Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 and secretary to the government of the federation, says the COVID-19 vaccination certificate will “very soon” become a requirement for travels.

Mustapha stated this, on Saturday, after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He noted that some countries have started placing restrictions on receiving visitors on the basis of the COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

“Vaccine hesitancy will have to give way to the reality because the truth about it, your excellency, is that very soon, nobody will be able to travel the world unless you produce the certificate that you have been given,” he said.

“I have not confirmed this but reliably, some countries have started putting restrictions for receiving visitors, even for exercising activities of their faith, without a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.”

Recently, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said only people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to attend the 2021 Hajj.

Speaking further, he urged Nigerians not to listen to conspiracy theories and misinformation on vaccines and make themselves available when it is their turn to do so.

“They (vaccines) have been tested. Our strategic leaders have received them this morning. They are safe. They are efficacious and it is for the good and wellbeing of our people,” he said.

“I urge Nigerians to make themselves available, not to listen to conspiracy theories and misinformation but to make themselves available, eligible Nigerians when it is their time to do so.”

Mustapha commended Buhari for always approving the proposals and memos sent to him by the PTF in the fight against the pandemic.

On Friday, Nigeria commenced its COVID-19 vaccination with frontline health workers in Abuja

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BREAKING: Buhari, Osinbajo Receive COVID-19 Vaccines In Aso Villa [VIDEO]

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo were on Saturday vaccinated against COVID-19.

Buhari was vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr. Suhayb Sanusi, at about 11.51 am at a brief ceremony witnessed by top government officials at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Shortly after the President, Osinbajo was also vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr. Nicholas Audifferen, at about 11.57 am.

The President and his deputy were the first among the nation’s strategic leaders to take the vaccine after some frontline health workers at the treatment center of the National Hospital, Abuja, were vaccinated on Friday.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control had early on Friday cleared the 3.924m doses of AstraZeneca vaccine which arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday for usage in the country.

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Nationwide Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-Out To Gulp N10.6bn Transportation Cost

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The Federal Government, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, has budgeted the sum of N10.6bn to transport the COVID-19 vaccine to the 36 states and the 774 local government areas as well as the Federal Capital Territory and the six area councils.

Also, about N1.4bn was set aside for the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment while N373m was earmarked for the purchase of Adverse Events Following Immunisation kits otherwise known as AEFI kits.

This is according to a document obtained by the media on Friday, which was presented to the 36 governors during a meeting between representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Governors Forum on Thursday.

The document titled, ‘Estimated Budget for States Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines (end-to-end),’ showed that Kano State, which has 44 local government areas, has the highest budget for transportation at N685.4m while N558.6m will be spent on distributing the vaccines to Lagos State, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About N476m would be spent on distributing vaccines in the President’s home state of Katsina while N396.3m will be spent in Oyo State.

Bayelsa, which has just eight local government areas, has the lowest budget for vaccine transportation which is N121m.

The total amount of money earmarked for the transportation of vaccine, procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, AEFI kits, and sensitization was summed up at N12.7bn.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on December 22, 2020, told the Senate that the Federal Government would need about N400bn to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigeria’s population.

The Senate leadership subsequently asked Ehanire to bring a budget while they promised to give it quick consideration.

However, it was learnt that as of Friday, no supplementary budget had been sent to the National Assembly.

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