By John Ikani
The Federal Government has further extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to October 31, 2021
The new deadline was announced in a joint statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Sunday, July 25.
According to the statement, the decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.
It also noted that the decision followed a review of the progress of the exercise which indicated significant progress, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.
“There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with an average of three to four SIMs per NIN. With the great number of enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, every citizen, legal resident, and Nigerian citizens living in the diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs,” the statement revealed.
It quoted the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, as commending the Kano State Government and other States that have made NINs a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.
The statement added that “The Federal Government is also excited at the news that the use of NIN in the process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board exam significantly reduced the challenge of exam malpractice.
What you should know
The NIN-SIM linkage makes it easier for the security agencies to carry out their statutory duties and the relevant parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are supporting them as required.
Since December last year, this is the sixth time the government is extending NIM-SIM linkage deadline.
Previous deadlines handed to Nigerians to link their SIMs with their NINs or lose their phone numbers, were December 30, 2020; January 19, 2021; February 9, 2021; April 6, 2021; June 30, 2021.
Before now, government had approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to July 26, 2021.
As at July 24, 2021, there are over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country, a development that would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.
The registration focus is now expected to shift to remote and hard-to-reach areas, schools and health centres.