Following a meeting between the Nigerian communication minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and relevant stakeholders in the industry on Monday, February 1, 2021, the federal government has decided to extend the deadline for linking National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) by eight weeks.
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This means that the February 9, 2021 deadline has been moved to April 6, 2021. This information was disclosed in a statement jointly signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde (Director Public Affairs, the Nigerian Communications Commission), and Mr Kayode Adegoke, (Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, NIMC).
‘The ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021. This message was conveyed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration held on February 1, 2021. Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.’
In attendance during the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration meeting on Monday which was chaired by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy were the DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), and the DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Also in attendance were the MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Spectranet, SMILE, and Ntel, alongside the COO of Globacom.
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Commenting on the extension, Dr Pantami noted that it is part of efforts to ensure that Nigerians and legal residents have adequate time to link their NIN with their SIM cards. The minister also revealed that so far, a total of 56.18 million NINs have been received by mobile network operators (MNOs).
‘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 January 18, 2021.’
Dr. Ali Isa Pantami
In a bid to ensure that the enrolment process is easier for Nigerians, the minister disclosed that over 1,060 NIN registration centres have been activated by the National Identity Management Commission and made operational across all parts of the federation, while MNOs have opened hundreds of registration centres and deploying adequate resources to see that new centres are opened.
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