The Nigerian government has further extended deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification exercise to end of the year 2021.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami urged citizens and legal residents to complete the process before the deadline as he conveyed the extension approval in a joint statement issued at the weekend by Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and Head, Corporate Communications, Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Kayode Adegoke.
Over 66 million unique NINs have been issued- an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage.
Also, there are now over 9,500 enrolment systems and more than 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country to significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.
According to the statement: “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 government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.
“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.”
The statement further adds: “The NIN-SIM verification process is supporting the government’s drive to develop Nigeria’s digital economy, strengthen our ability to protect our cyberspace and support the security agencies.
“However, a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB), which may be due to some challenges which the Federal Government has looked into and has made efforts to alleviate, hence the need to extend the deadline.”
The statement assured that “government will also continue to provide an enabling environment for investors in the telecommunications sector,
“The unique 66 million NIN enrolments, with an average of 3 to 4 SIMs linked to the NIN, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the federal government, through the NCC and NIMC, to ensure the success of the project. With the creation of additional NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, the remaining citizens and legal residents living in the country and the diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs and link them with their SIMs before the end of the year.”