Under pressure Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has extended the NIN-SIM linkage deadline to June 30, 2021.
The announcement was made by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and National Identity Management Commission, NIMC in a joint statement.
Aside arriving at the decision after a virtual meeting chaired by Pantami and attended by the Chairman of NCC, Adeolu Akande, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Dambatta, and NIMC’s Director-General, Aliyu Azeez, the Federal Government said the postponement of the deadline was also based on stakeholders’ request for an extension to make it easier for Nigerians and legal residents to complete registration.
“Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN, and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines.
“Furthermore, the telecom providers and other enrolment agents have also opened several centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.
“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 accessing several government services.
“This is similar to the use of Social Security Number and National Insurance Number for accessing services in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, respectively,” Pantami said.
Pantami has ignored calls for his resignation over alleged links to terrorism and religious extremism. He has also received the backing of the Presidency to remain in office.