…Says Telcos record 47.8m NINs for SIM linkage
By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
The federal government has warned Nigerians to desist from selling or allowing others to use their National Identity Number, NIN, for registration.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ibrahim Pantami, who gave the warning at a review meeting between the federal government and stakeholders in Abuja Monday, said any action committed with the NIN, positive or negative, would be officially traced.
He charged the Technical Implementation Committee under the Ministerial Task Force for the NIN/SIM linkage exercise to fast-track the processes so that the project will be delivered in due time.
The minister also disclosed that the four telecom operators in Nigeria, have collected over 47 million National Identity Numbers, NINs, from their subscribers in just one month.
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The NINs will be linked with the telephone SIM cards before the second deadline for linkage will expire on February 9, 2021.
The minister, who stated this in a statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the technical and implementation committee reported significant progress in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage exercise, adding that the federal government was pleased with the progress so far.
He said: “So far, a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. This is a commendable achievement. At an average of three to four SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 2021.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, but many organisations have called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large number of people who are yet to get their NINs.