The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the registration, verification and linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards by one month.
The deadline was actually pegged for April 6, before the new announcement. The implication of this is that Nigerians, who are yet to complete the NIN-SIM registration now have up till May 6 to do, failure of which may warrant the SIM card to be blocked by then.
This is even as the already registered and verified NINs have exceeded 51 million.
These developments were made known on Friday in a joint statement signed by both the Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke.
The statement said that based on the updates of the NIN-registration process, over 51 million people have been assigned NINs.
According to it, there are many people who have enrolled and are in the process of being assigned NINs.
Both commissions explained that with each individual having an average of three to four SIMs, the total number of SIMs tied to NINs would close to the total number of registered SIMs in the country.
According to them, the current number of monthly enrollments has increased significantly to about 2.6 million registrations.
They claimed that there have also been remarkable increase in the numbers of enrolment centres across the country with about 3,800 centres available for enrollments .
The statement said there are also many more new centres in the pipeline.
“The Chairman of the EFCC addressed the meeting and stated that the NIN-SIM linkage would support the Federal Government in checkmating the activities of fraudsters and cybercriminals. The Minister noted the importance of obtaining feedback from all stakeholders in order to ensure that the NIN-SIM linkage process is one that cannot easily be compromised, ” the statement read.
This extension of the deadline was arrived at after a meeting yesterday, which had the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and other industry stakeholders in attendance.
Pantami thanked Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise. He reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.
The Minister informed that the request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it.