By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to the 30th of June, 2021.
The extension was as a result of the virtual meeting chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and attended by following officials- Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez.
A joint statement by NCC and NIMC said, the postponement of the deadline was also based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till 30th of June, 2021 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.
It said, “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 three to four 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.
“Dr. Pantami wishes to thank Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
“He again reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration”, the statement said.