The Federal Government has extended the deadline for telecommunications companies to block sim cards not integrated with National Identification Number (NIN) to a maximum of February 9.
The extension was agreed at the meeting of the National Task Force on NIN and SIM Registration which held on Monday in Abuja. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
The decision was further confirmed in a release by the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, and the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz.
The FG approved three weeks extension for subscribers who have their NIN but unable to integrate them with their Sim cards from 30th December to 19th January 2021. For subscriber without NIN, registration has been extended by six weeks; from 30th December to 9th February 2021.
Nigerians crowd NIMC offices for NIN registration
In the wake of the NCC’s order for telcos to block sim cards not integrated with NIN by the end of 2020, Nigerians thronged to NIMC offices to carry out their registrations and get the NIN. Technext reported that thousands of Lagosians trooped to Alausa office to complete their registrations.
This was against the backdrop of rising Covid-19 numbers across the country and the globe which has already forced several countries into lockdown. Social distancing wasn’t observed at the office, prompting health concerns from various quarters.
But the NIMC has assured Nigerians of its efforts at making sure they remain protected by fully complying with Covid-19 protocols:
NIMC has provided strategies to enable citizens attend the registration in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols – particularly the use of facemasks which remains mandatory and maintenance of social distancing.NIMC
The commission also assured Nigerians that Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and verification charges will remain suspended during these extensions.
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