The Federal Government has extended the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) by eight weeks.
Information on the extension was contained in a statement signed by spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigeria Identity Management Commission.
The statement dated February 1, stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami was acknowledged to have given the approval.
“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. This message was conveyed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which 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 the SIM.”
The joint statement added that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators, “a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.”
“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. It would be recalled that the 4th of February, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.”
The NIN exercise and deadline(s) attached to it has drawn backlash from several quarters over its timing as thousands flock to registration centres, flouting COVID-19 critical directives of social distancing and wearing of masks.
To contain the seeming lapses in the exercise, the statement revealed that, “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.’
“The Federal Government of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise,” the statement read.