FG extends deadline for NIN-SIM linkage by eight weeks

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The federal government has extended the deadline for the ongoing national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM) integration exercise by eight weeks.

The new deadline is April 6, 2021.

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, was said to have announced the decision at a meeting of the ministerial taskforce on NIN-SIM registration on Monday.

”Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM,” a statement issued by the communications ministry said.

”The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister and attended by key stakeholders, including the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (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 3 to 4 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 MuhammaduBuhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians.”

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have expressed his satisfaction with the progress made regarding the NIN-SIM linkage and commended the minister and all stakeholders for their roles.

The January 19 was the initial deadline, but was moved to February 9, and now April 6.

There have been concerns regarding crowds converging on NIMC centres to enrol for NIN amid COVID-19 second wave. But the management of NIMC said it has put in place measures to check the surging of crowds.

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