The Federal Government has extended the NIN-SIM linkage deadline expiring today, offering phone users an opportunity to complete the mandatory process before year-end.
So far, over 66 million unique NIN have been issued but “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”, Professor Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, who announced the extension today in a statement made available to Technology Times, says.
Following the decision to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification, citizens and legal residents “are urged to complete the process before the end of the year 2021”, the Minister says.
Minister: Why Government Extended NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline
Accordingly, “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.”
As of today, October 30, 2021, “there were over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country- this has significantly eased the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.”
According to the Minister, “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 Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (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.”
Pantami says that “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.”
Under the plan, 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.”