• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria government extends NIN-SIM linkage deadline to April 6

NIMC-NIN registration

The Nigerian government has moved the deadline for the integration of the National Identification Number (NIN) and subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise till April 6, 2021.

This is coming weeks after the government ended the linkage exercise – precisely 19 January – and telecom operators moved over 47.8 million unique phone lines to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The final stage according to the telcos was for the commission to verify the phone lines. The deadline for those who do not have a NIN number is supposed to end on 9 February.

The new deadline announced by Isal Ali Pantami the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.

The announcement was made at a meeting of 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.

So far, a total of 56.18 million NINs have been reportedly collected by the mobile network operators. Each NIN has usually tied to an average of 3 to 4 SIMs and this means the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs. The number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the technical committee on January 18, 2021.

NIMC also said it has activated and made operational over 1060 registration centres for NIN while telcos. BusinessDay reported that Kano has the most number of centres, followed by Lagos State. Last week, the NIMC said it has licenced the telcos to generate identity numbers. Since Friday, operators like Airtel, MTN, and Globacom have announced the commencement of registration at their different locations across the country.

“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,” a statement from NIMC read.

Pantami added that it was important for 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.

Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provides for the mandatory use of National Identity Number for transactions, including application and issuance of a passport, opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others.