By Favour Nnabugwu.
The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the registration, verification and linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards to June 30.
This is contained in a statement co-signed by Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Adegoke National Identity Management Commission(NIMC).
The extension, the federal government said, was as a result of the virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and attended by Chairman of NCC, Prof Adeolu Akande.
Others are the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta and the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez.
The minister said the postponement of the deadline was also based on the request by stakeholders for an extension until June 30 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.
“Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process.
” For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 Million mobile numbers, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines,” Pantami said.
The government said the much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this had the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolment.
” Furthermore, the telecom providers and other enrolment agents have also opened several centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.
” It is noteworthy that Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provides for the mandatory use of National Identity Number for accessing several government services.
This is similar to the use of Social Security Number and National Insurance Number for accessing services in the United States of America and the United Kingdom respectively,” the federal government said.
Pantami appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to continue taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.
Federal Government had on Dec. 15, 2020, declared that after Dec. 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
The federal government later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from Dec. 30, 2020, to Jan. 19, 2021.