By Jessica Dogo
The Federal Government has extended the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration by eight weeks with a new deadline of April 6.
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde on Tuesday.
He said the extension was ordered by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, after the meeting of the Ministerial Task force on NIN-SIM registration.
Pantami stated that the extension was to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.
“It was reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators. Each NIN is usually tied to an average of 3 to 4 SIMs and this infers that the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs.
“This number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on Jan. 18.
“Furthermore, over 1,060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country.
“Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have opened hundreds of centres and are rapidly deploying resources to open thousands of other NIN enrolment centres across states of the country.
“This is in line with the policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians,” he said.
The minister reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents who were yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enroll for their NIN and link with their SIMs.
He encouraged citizens to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process and follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centers and ensure compliance with the booking system in place.
“This protocol is in line with the executive order on COVID-19 2020, signed by President Buhari on Jan. 27, 2021, in keeping with the provisions of the quarantine Act 2004.
“It will be recalled that Feb. 4, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise,” he said.
The minister also commended efforts of NIMC, NCC, MNOs and all other relevant government and private sector organisations for their unflinching support toward the success of the exercise.
The meeting was attended by key stakeholders including the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz.
Other members in attendance are the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo.