Federal Government Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline

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Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Nigeria Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) by citizens and residents to their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards for data verification to the June 30, 2021.

The extension was reached at the virtual meeting of industry stakeholders chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and attended by Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. AdeoluAkande; Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez.

The postponement of the deadline was also based on request by stakeholders for an extension till June 30, 2021 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.

Significant progress had been made in the NIN-SIM verification process with almost 54 million people having obtained their NIN which can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines.

The much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments.

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 NIN 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.

The Federal Government has approved the extension as part of its effort to make it easier for citizens and residents to obtain the NIN.

Dr.Pantami thanked Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.

He also reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.