The Federal Government has extended the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise by eight weeks, saying April 6 had been fixed as the new deadline for all Nigerians to register and link their SIM cards.
It explained that the decision to extend the deadline had been reach to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM for efficient service provision and help the government in its information gathering techniques.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said the extension followed careful consideration and consultations with stakeholders during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which held yesterday.
The minister, through a statement by the ministry’s Director Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said that the meeting which he chaired, was 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, Pantami said, include the MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Globacom.
He said the the extension and other measures put in place to ensure easy registration for Nigerians was in line with the policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to enhance security.
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.
“The Honourable Minister also commended the efforts of NIMC, NCC, MNOs and all other relevant government and private sector organisations for their unflinching support towards the success of the exercise.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his satisfaction with the progress made regarding the NIN-SIM linkage and commended the Honourable Minister and all stakeholders for their roles. He encouraged citizens to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process.
“The Honourable minister implores applicants to follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centers and ensure compliance with the booking system in place. This protocol is in line with the Executive Order on COVID 19 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 27th of January 2021, in keeping with the provisions of the Quarantine Act 2004.
“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 transactions, including application and issuance of a passport, opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others,” the statement said.