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FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage By Eight Weeks

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal Government has extended the deadline for linkage of National Identity Numbers with Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) cards by eight weeks.

Consequently, the new deadline has been shifted from February 9 to April 6, 2021.

According to a statement jointly signed by the spokesmen of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ikechukwu Adinde and the National Identity Management Commission NIMC, Kayode Adegoke respectively, said the decision to extend the date was reached at a meeting of stakeholders with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.

It added that the meeting was chaired by the 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, the statement read.

“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.

“The CEOs of the Telcos and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Organisation of Nigeria commended the Honorable Minister for his stellar leadership and commitment to the rapid development of the sector.

“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 of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise, ” it added.

It would be recalled that the 4th of February, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.

On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.

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