The federal government has extended the National Identity Number (NIN) registration deadline by several weeks. The extension means telecoms cannot block non-complaint SIM cards until at least April 6.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate, Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
“The ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021,” he said.
According to the statement, this message was conveyed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration, which was held on the 1st of February, 2021.
Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with their SIM.
The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister and attended by key stakeholders, including the EVC/CEO of NCC, DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
Others include the MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Globacom.
It was reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators.
Each NIN is usually tied to an average of three to four SIMs and this infers that the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs.
This number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.
“Furthermore, over 1060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country, while Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have opened hundreds of centres and are rapidly deploying resources to open thousands of other NIN enrolment centres across states of the country.
“This is in line with the policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians,” he said.
Dr. Pantami reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents who are yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enroll for their NIN and link with their SIMs.
The Federal Government applauded all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation “and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise.
“The minister implores applicants to follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centers and ensure compliance with the booking system in place.”