The Nigeria Federal Government has once again extended the deadline for National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification till March 31, 2022.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) claimed the National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment has climbed to 71 million in a joint statement published by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Friday.
Since the exercise began in 2020, this is the ninth time an extension is placed on it.
The Nigeria Federal Government stated that the extension for the NIN and SIM verification to 31st of March will help speed up enrollment of Nigerians in crucial areas such as distant locations, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres and legal residents.
According to the Federal Government, the NIMC has already issued over 71 million NINs and established over 14,000 enrolment centres around the country.
The FG said, “Furthermore, the NIMC has also set up enrollment centres in over 31 countries to cater for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The unprecedented growth in the National Identity Database to over 71 million unique NINs in such a short period, with about three to four SIMs linked to a NIN, reflects the concerted effort of the Federal Government, the Nigerian populace and legal residents, and this is truly commendable.
Following the request by stakeholders, including citizens, legal residents and Nigerians in the diaspora, the Federal Government has extended the deadline of the exercise to the 31st of March, 2022”.
Only roughly 90 million subscribers had successfully linked their SIMs to their NINs, according to a source in the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria.
Nigeria had 229,582,206 connected SIM lines in October, with 191,618,839 of them active, according to the NCC.
At least 101 million active telecom users have not yet connected their NINs to their SIM cards.
Adeolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecom Subscribers, stated, “on Thursday, someone called from the commission that the deadline may be extended. This shows that the Federal Government is listening.
I think the Federal Government has done the meaningful, i.e. cross-checking with Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON). Because obviously, not many people have done much and we are yet to achieve the 80–85 per cent inclusion mark.
This shows they are also listening to the people in the underserved areas; there are 301 areas without internet access. It means they have to travel to areas with the internet before they can get their SIM and NIN linkage sorted out”, he said.