The federal government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-SIM data verification from May 6 to June 30, 2021. The decision to extend the date was reached at a virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, which was attended by the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez.
The recent extension, which is the sixth since December 2020, when the directive for NIN-SIM integration exercise was first issued, was based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till June 30 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register their NIN and link same with their registered SIM cards.
The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, who announced the recent extension in a joint statement signed by both of them, also announced that NIN enrolment has tranches 54 million.
According to the statement, “Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to 3 to 4 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 its citizens and residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension, the statement further said.