The Federal Government has extended the deadline for National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise till June 30, 2021, just as it disclosed that 54 million Nigerians have completed their NIN registration across the country.
It stated that the postponement was made after reviewing requests made by stakeholders for an extension till 30th of June in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register in Nigeria.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was said to have approved the extension during a virtual meeting attended by the government officials and stakeholders to review the ongoing exercise that was designed to address majorly security challenges in the country.
Some of those present at the meeting include Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Umar Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Aliyu Azeez.
In a statement jointly signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde; and the Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke, the minister was said to have okayed the move to prevent anyone from losing there SIMs.
The statement titled ‘NIN Enrolment Reaches 54 Million as FG Approves 30th of June as NIN-SIM Verification Deadline’, Pantami stated that significant progress had been made in the ongoing linkage.
“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 3 to 4 phone lines,” the statement partly read.
It would recalled that the apex government had last December declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
The 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 December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021 and further issued an eight weeks extension on February 2, 2021 but many organisations had called for further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process.