The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said seven SIM cards can be linked to one National Identity Number (NIN) on the recently launched National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) mobile application.
The Minister made this remark while speaking on Channels TV Politics Today show, Friday.
He said his ministry is collaborating with NIMC “to transform the NIN enrolment process and the onward linkage to SIM cards as required by the Nigerian Communication Commission.”
“We developed an app when you go online, you will see it. That app, as long as you have your NIMC number, you will only download it without visiting any office. You will be able to link up to seven SIM numbers to only one,” he said.
“I have already downloaded the app, launched the app, and already linked some of my numbers immediately. This is part of digitalisation,” he added
The official said if the federal government imposes a fresh lockdown due to the current coronavirus spike, the ministry, NIMC, and telecommunication operators, “would review the entire NIN linkage to SIM cards by network users.”
“If a second lockdown is enforced, then, the ministerial taskforce including NIMC, NCC, and all mobile network operators will come down and sit immediately and review,” he said, adding that “the task force meets usually within one week.”
Mr Pantami also said “when there is a second lockdown, we are citizens, we must respect the Federal Government’s directives.”
“When there is any announcement, we will come back to the drawing board immediately and review the process and see what we have achieved so far, and the challenges,” the communication minister noted.
The Nigerian government had directed telecommunication operators through the NCC to block subscribers who failed to link their mobile numbers to their NINs.
This has led to a rush by Nigerians to NIMC offices across the nation in a bid to comply.
The directive initially said subscribers were given two weeks to link their numbers but this was later extended to January 18, 2021.
Subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to register and link to their numbers.