By Ismail Auwal
The presidential candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) in the 2019 elections, and former deptuty governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has called on the Federal Government to postpone NIN integration because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Moghalu who endorses the principle of the exercise in a statement, expressed a concern the implementation timing which coincides with spike in COVID-19 infections across the country.
He said, the exercise, which requires people to gather in designated centres around the country and abroad, is taking place as new waves of COVID-19 infections are happening in Nigeria and around the world.
“The integration may become a super-spreader event,” he pointed out.
Speaking further, Moghalu argued hat Nigerians should not have to choose between keeping their phones connected and risking their lives with the pandemic.
“NCC should postpone the exercise until it is safe to resume it. I suspect that the regulator may have been planning the implementation of the policy before the new waves of the infection. It should now respond to the need to safeguard public health.
“What should matter most at this time is for the government to start to deliver on a plan to vaccinate a significant number of Nigerians, especially health workers and vulnerable groups, against COVID-19,” he said.
Continuing, the former apex bank chief said: “The lesson of the past months is that containing the pandemic that has killed nearly two million people worldwide is necessary to save lives and end lockdowns.”
The presidential aspirant said that the policy directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the integration of the citizens’ National Identification Numbers (NINs) with their mobile phones is a good idea.
He also noted that he long canvassed the provision of a national database of Nigerians for the purpose of economic planning and service delivery to the citizens.
Professor Moghalu said that, Nigeria should embrace this best practice in the delivery of public projects.
“Implementing any public policy requires adequate planning and project risk management. This is how serious nations achieve their policy objectives and make progress.”