By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has again extended the deadline for the linkage of National Identity Numbers (NIN) with the Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) card to the end of 2021.
This was contained in a joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Kayode Adegoke issued on Saturday.
It is the eighth time the government would shift the deadline for the registration since it mandated compulsory registration and linkage in December 2020.
“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 statement said.
“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,” it added.
The statement said more than 9,500 enrolment systems with over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres were available in and outside the country to ease the enrolment and linkage process.
It read, “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 press statement further stated that 66 million unique NIN enrolments have been captured since the enrolment process began, with an average of three to four SIMs linked to the NIN.