Nigeria has extended the deadline for telecom users to link their National Identity Numbers (NIN) with their Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) card to the end of the year.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami urged Nigerians and legal residents to complete the process of the linkage “before the end of the year 2021.”
In a joint statement by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head of Corporate Communications of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, the minister said the decision to extend the deadline again was to avoid widening the digital divide.
“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number-Subscriber Identity Module data verification. Citizens and legal residents are urged to complete the process before the end of the year 2021.
“The decision to extend the deadline was made further to appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders, soliciting for a further extension to ensure better compliance with government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide,” the minister said.
The extension, the statementt said would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable, and increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians.
“As of October 30, 2021, there were over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country- this has significantly eased the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.”
The press statement further stated that 66 million unique NIN enrolments have been captured since the enrolment process began, with an average of three to four SIMs linked to the NIN.
“However, a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB), which may be due to some challenges which the Federal Government has looked into and has made efforts to alleviate, hence the need to extend the deadline.
“As of October 30, 2021, there were over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country- this has significantly eased the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.
” The NIN-SIM verification process is supporting the Government’s drive to develop Nigeria’s digital economy, strengthen our ability to protect our cyberspace and support the security agencies.
“The administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously approved the extension to accommodate the yearnings of the populace and make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN and link it with their SIM.