“The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification. Citizens and legal residents are urged to complete the process before the end of the year 2021″, a statement jointly signed by the spokesperson of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Ikechukwu Adinde and Kayode Adegoke respectively said.
The statement said the decision to extend the deadline was due to appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders.
It said the stakeholders had solicited for a further extension to ensure better compliance with the government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.
It said: ” The extension would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable, and increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians.”
“The review of the progress of the exercise indicated that over 66 million unique National Identity Numbers (NIN) have been issued- an indication of progress achieved in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage.”
However, the government said “a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB).”
As of Saturday, according to the NCC and NIMC, there were over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country.
The government said the NIN-SIM verification process is supporting it’s drive to develop Nigeria’s digital economy, strengthen its ability to protect the cyberspace and support the security agencies.
The statement said the Federal Government will ensure that all innocent, law abiding citizens and residents will not lose access to their phone lines as long as they obtain and link their NIN.
“Government will also continue to provide an enabling environment for investors in the telecommunications sector”, the statement added.