The Federal Government has extended the deadline for mobile subscribers to link their National Identity Numbers (NIN) with their SIM cards to July 26, 2021. This extension comes just a day before the old deadline was set to expire (June 30).
According to a joint statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process.
This follows the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems across the country.
The Federal Government has approved the extension as part of its effort to make it easier for its citizens and residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension.NCC/NIMC
The FG also announced that more than 4,500 new enrolment systems have been added to the process since December 2020. This brings the total number across the country to 5,410.
This would be the fifth deadline extension since the NIN-SIM linkage exercise was announced back in December 2020. The FG believes that with the addition of thousands of new enrolment centres across the country, the new deadline would enable every citizen and legal resident to obtain their NINs.
57.3 million NIN so far
The FG also announced that there are now a total of 57.3 million unique NIN enrolments so far, with an average of 3 to 4 SIMs per NIN. Nigeria has 188 million mobile subscriptions. Using the FG’s benchmark of 3 SIMs per NIN, it means roughly 170 million mobile subscriptions have been accounted for.
This, however, doesn’t account for the general population. With about 211 million people in the country and more than 105.8 million of them adults, it means nearly 50% of the adult population are still without NIN.
With Nigeria’s mobile penetration rate currently standing at 55%, there’s a huge possibility that targeting just mobile subscribers as the FG’s strategy to drive NIN registration might not be wholesome. This is simply because about 90 million Nigerians would be excluded from the strategy.
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