The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to “the end of the year 2021”. This is according to a recent statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) .
This is coming just 3 months after the last extension and barely a day to the expiration of the previous deadline (October 31). This would be the seventh deadline extension since the NIN-SIM linkage exercise was announced back in December 2020.
The decision to extend the deadline was made further to appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders, soliciting for a further extension to ensure better compliance with the government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.
The NCC noted in its statement that “the extension would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable, and increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians.”
Recall that we reported a few days ago that telecom subscribers in the country are clamouring for a further extension of the NIN-SIM registration, In the face of the rapidly approaching deadline.
The president of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbajo stressed the need for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to move the deadline till the end of the year so as to allow users to complete their sim verification process.
“In view of the current security situation, which necessitated the policy, we want the deadline to be extended to the end of the year, so that from January 1, there won’t be any excuse. But I also would want a situation where subscribers should take advantage of the remaining days left in this window.”
“Another two months won’t be bad. We are pleading for a two-month extension – November and December – so that full implementation of the security policy can start in January”, he added.
The review of the progress of the exercise indicated that over 66 million unique National Identity Numbers (NIN) have been issued- an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage. However, a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
According to NCC reports, over 180 million telephone lines have been linked so far with NIN. That is from a total of about 320 connected lines as indicated by NCCs subscribers data as of August 2021.
With an average of 3 sim cards per subscriber, this means that about the 60 million unique NINs have now been linked to phone numbers from the average of 107 million unique telecoms subscribers in the country.
“Consequently, the Honourable Minister enjoins Nigerians and legal residents to make use of the opportunity of the extension to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs. On behalf of the Honourable Minister, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, urge citizens and legal residents to take advantage of the window to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the end of the year 2021”, the NCC says
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