The Federal Government has extended the deadline for Nigerians to link their National Identification Numbers, NINs, to their SIM cards to June 30.
The extension was confirmed in a joint press statement by the spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Identity Management Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde and Kayode Adegoke on Tuesday.
The statement said the eight-week extension was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, at a virtual meeting.
Pantami said the government approved the extension to make it easier for its citizens and residents to obtain the National Identity Number (NIN).
The meeting was chaired by Pantami and attended by the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Adeolu Akande, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Umar Dambatta, and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez.
The statement said postponement of the deadline was also 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.
It said nearly 190 million mobile numbers have been linked to their NINs and this can translate to up to 54 Million people, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines.
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Also, the Android enrollment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrollments.
Telecom providers and other enrollment agents have 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 National Identity Number for accessing several government services,” it said.
“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.”