Nigeria extends NIN-SIM integration till December 2021, commends stakeholders on exercise

*The Federal Government has extended the hitherto October 31 deadline for telecoms consumers’ NIN-SIM linkage to enable the registration of more Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, foreigners and diplomatic missions among others, just as the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) discloses it has issued 66million unique NINs to citizens

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As the October 31, 2021 deadline for the linking Nigerians’ Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards with their National Identity Numbers (NINs) draws to a close in a few hours, the Federal Government, again, has extended the NIN-SIM enrolment exercise till the end of this year.

ConsumerConnect had reported the last series of extensions was slated to end in the country Sunday, October 31.

Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government to extend of the deadline for the National Identification Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification.

The stakeholders in the NIN-SIM verification and integration exercise lauded the citizens and legal residents, as they also urged them to complete the process before the end of the year 2021.

RELATED Special Report: Stakeholders Highlight Role Of Telecoms Firms In Identity Management, Nigeria Digital Economy

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in a statement issued Saturday, October 30, 2021, disclosed Prof. Pantami had approved an extension of the NIN-SIM linkage exercise till December 2021.

The statement said: “The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification.

Citizens and legal residents are urged to complete the process before the end of the year 2021.

How Mobile Network Operators, other industry stakeholders rally for extension 

“The decision 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.”

RELATED: NCC Warns Telecoms Consumers Against Linking Their NINs To Other Subscribers’ SIM Cards

Both NCC and NIMC Spokespersons also noted: “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.”

According to the authorities, the review of the progress of the exercise has indicated that over 66 million unique NIN have been issued, a development described as an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM integration in the West African country.

The statement said: “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.”

It is further noted that 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.

RELATED NIN Registration: NIMC Launches Mobile App For Enrollment, Authentication

“The administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, 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.

“The Federal Government will ensure that all innocent, law abiding citizens and residents will not lose access to the their phone lines as long as they obtain and link their NIN,” the Nigerian authorities stated.

The authorities said the Government would also continue to provide an enabling environment for investors in the telecommunications sector of the Nigerian economy.

NIMC issues 66 million NINs to Nigerians thus far

The unique 66 million NIN enrollments, 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, the statement noted.

According to NCC and NIMC in the statement, with the creation of additional NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, the remaining citizens and legal residents living in the country and the diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs and link them with their SIMs before the end of the year.

READ ALSO Special Report: NCC, Stakeholders’ Conversations On Benefits Of NIN-SIM Integration At 3rd TCTHR

The statement further said the Honourable Minister, therefore, enjoins Nigerians and legal residents to make use of the opportunity of the extension to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs.

It added: “On behalf of the Honourable Minister, the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, urge citizens and legal residents to take advantage of the window to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the the end of the year 2021.”

Continued consumer sensitisation on benefits of NIN-SIM integration

Recall the NCC, as the country’s telecoms sector regulator, had stated that the cutoff date remained unchanged, as the country’s telecoms sector regulator said that relevant authorities would also deny any Nigerians without NINs the opportunity of acquiring driving licences and international passports henceforth.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, disclosed this development via a statement issued September 29, titled ‘NIN-SIM Integration: NCC sensitises telecoms consumers on October 31 Deadline’.

READ ALSO: NCC Sensitises Telecoms Consumers On NIN-SIM Integration Before October 31 Deadline

The Commission also sensitised telecoms consumers through the NCC Digital Signature radio programme, which transmitted the second episode of Telecoms Consumer Town Hall on Radio (live on a radio station in Lagos to discuss benefits of NIN-SIM integration.

The NCC Director Public Affairs said: “NCC has reminded and urged telecoms consumers to link their NINs with their SIMs before the expiration of the deadline of October 31, 2021, set by the Federal Government.

“Speaking during the live programme, Dr.Adinde advised Nigerians to make use of the extension of the NIN-SIM integration exercise to October 31, 2021, to enrol with NIMC, get their NINs and link them to their SIMs.”

According to NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, in a little while, Nigerians without NINs “will be denied of necessary services that play vital roles in their lives, including acquisition of driving licences, passports.”

The statement also noted in terms of the benefits of the exercise, it is “in line with Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria deploys technology to improve service delivery, the NIN-SIM database will enhance citizens’ access to government services.”

Kindly Share This Story