The Federal Government has extended the ongoing linkage exercise of the National Identity Number of Nigerians to their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards by eight weeks.
This was disclosed in a joint statement issued by Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications of the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the new deadline is now April 6, 2021.
The NCC spokesperson said Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, conveyed the extension message during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration, which held on the 1st of February, 2021.
The statement read” The ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021.
“This message was conveyed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which held on the 1st of February, 2021. Dr Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.
“The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister and 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) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON). Others include the MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Globacom.”
The minister, according to the statement, lauded Nigerians who have done their NIN registration and have subsequently linked it to their SIM card(s).
He urged those yet to register for NIN and link to their SIM cards to take advantage of the extended period to do so in order to avoid disconnection.
“Dr. Pantami reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents who are yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enroll for their NIN and link with their SIMs. It would be recalled that the 4th of February, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise. The Honourable Minister also commended the efforts of NIMC, NCC, MNOs and all other relevant government and private sector organisations for their unflinching support towards the success of the exercise.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his satisfaction with the progress made regarding the NIN-SIM linkage and commended the Honourable Minister and all stakeholders for their roles. He encouraged citizens to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process.
“The Honourable minister implores applicants to follow the safety guidelines at all the NIN enrolment centers and ensure compliance with the booking system in place. This protocol is in line with the Executive Order on COVID-19 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 27th of January 2021, in keeping with the provisions of the Quarantine Act 2004,” the statement read.
The NCC had initially ordered telecommunications companies on December 15, 2020, to suspend the phone lines of subscribers who fail to link their NIN to their SIM card(s) by December 30, 2020.
But on December 21, 2020, the NCC and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in a joint statement announced that the Federal Government had approved the extension of the registration’s deadline by three weeks.
According to the statement, the deadline was extended to January 19, 2021, for those who have NIN, and to February 9, 2021, for individuals without NIN.