The federal government has again extended the ongoing national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM) integration exercise till December 31, 2021.
The deadline was shifted from the previous date of October 31.
Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, conveyed the approval of the federal government to extend the deadline in a statement issued on Saturday.
The statement was jointly signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, director of public affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Kayode Adegoke, head of corporate communications at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government 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 statement reads.
“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 disclosed that over 66 million unique NIN have been issued, with an average of three to four SIMs per NIN.
“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 adds.
“As of 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.
“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.
“The Honourable Minister enjoins Nigerians and legal residents to make use of the opportunity of the extension to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs.
“On behalf of the FGN, the Honourable Minister, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu A. Aziz, urge citizens and legal residents to take advantage of the window to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the end of the year 2021.”