Federal Government has extended the deadline for the National Identity Number, NIN, Subscriber Identity Module, SIM, data verification to the end of 2021, while calling on the legal residents to complete the process.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, the approval of the 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.
He 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.
He explained that the review of the progress of the exercise indicated that over 66 million unique NIN have been issued and an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage.
However, a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database, NIDB, which may be due to some challenges which the Federal Government has looked into and has made efforts to alleviate, hence the need to extend the deadline.
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 NIN-SIM verification process is supporting the Government’s drive to develop Nigeria’s digital economy, strengthen our ability to protect our cyberspace and support the security agencies.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the extension to accommodate the yearnings of the populace and make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN and link it with their SIM.
Government will also continue to provide an enabling environment for investors in the telecommunications sector.
The unique 66 million NIN enrolments, with an average of 3 to 4 SIMs linked to the NIN, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to ensure the success of the project.