Time after time again, the Federal Government has extended the deadline for NIN-SIM linkage till June 30, 2021. The extension was as a result of the virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and attended by the chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Adeolu Akande, the executive vice-chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta and the director-general/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez.
We could all remember back on December 15, 2020, where the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
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He later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021. Again, Mr Pantami gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, and further issued an eight-week extension on February 2, 2021.
A statement jointly signed by both the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Ike Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, on Tuesday, explained that the postponement of the deadline was also based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till June 30 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.
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The earlier deadline was June 6, but that has been extended by another three weeks. Meanwhile, the statement informed that significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process.
For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines. The much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments.
Furthermore, the telecom providers and other enrolment agents have also opened several centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.
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.
Pantami wishes to thank Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
He again reiterated the government’s commitment to continue taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.