The Federal Government has extended the deadline of the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise to April 6, 2021.
This is according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM during the meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on NIN-SIM registration, which held on the 1st of February, 2021.
In a statement jointly signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission and Mr Kayode Adegoke, the Head, Corporate Communications of Nigeria Identity Management Commission and made available to the press on Tuesday, Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with SIM cards.
The statement said 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.
“The figures collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021,” it said.
According to the statement, at least, 1060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country, while 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.
The statement said 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.
Dr Pantami reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents, who are yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enrol for their NIN and link with their SIMs.
The Federal Government applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise.
Dr Pantami implores applicants to follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centres 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 Muhammadu Buhari on the 27th of January 2021, in keeping with the provisions of the Quarantine Act 2004,” he said.
It is noteworthy that Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provides for the mandatory use of National Identity Number for transactions, including application and issuance of a passport, the opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others.