The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the linkage of the National Identification Number (NIN) to their Subscriber Module Identity (SIM) cards to 6 May.
This was disclosed by Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in a statement jointly signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Kayode Adegoke, the spokesperson of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), on Friday.
The current deadline for the linkage is scheduled for 6 April.
But according to Pantami, the request for the one-month extension was presented to and endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement read: “The meeting took place on Thursday, April 1, 2021, and an approval was given to extend the period of the NIN-SIM linkage to the 6th of May, 2021. The request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it.
“With each individual having an average of 3 to 4 SIMs, the total number of SIMs tied to NINs would close to the total number of registered SIMs in the country.”
The minister stated that the current number of monthly enrolment has increased significantly to about 2.6 million.
The statement noted that there has also been a remarkable increase in the number of enrolment centres across the country with about 3,800 centres available for enrolment.
Also present at the meeting, Abulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said the NIN-SIM linkage would go a long way in helping law enforcement agents apprehend cybercriminals.
“The Chairman of the EFCC addressed the meeting and stated that the NIN-SIM linkage would support the Federal Government in checkmating the activities of fraudsters and cybercriminals. The Honourable Minister noted the importance of obtaining feedback from all stakeholders in order to ensure that the NIN-SIM linkage process is one that cannot easily be compromised,” the statement read.
The meeting was attended by key stakeholders, including the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Representative of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
Others included the NCC Executive Commissioners Technical Services and Stakeholder Management, MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Glo.