FG says 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
extension will afford all citizens enough time to verify their NIN before the end of the new deadline
IT News Nigeria:
The Federal Government of Nigeria has again extended the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification, and urged citizens to complete the process before the end of the year 2021, according to a statement.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) conveyed the approval Saturday, adding, the decision to extend the deadline was made further to appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders, soliciting for a further extension to ensure better compliance with government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.
Recalled, on February 2, 2021, government announced 8 weeks deadline for NIN-SIM linkage with a new deadline of April 6, 2021. Since then, Authorities have extended the deadline till October 30, 2021.
Why FG announced NIN extension
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, a significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB), which may be due to some challenges which the Federal Government has looked into and has made efforts to alleviate, hence the need to extend the deadline.
As of October 30, 2021, there were over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country- this has significantly eased the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM. The NIN-SIM verification process is supporting the Government’s drive to develop Nigeria’s digital economy, strengthen our ability to protect our cyberspace and support the security agencies.
The administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously approved the extension to accommodate the yearnings of the populace and make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN and link it with their SIM. 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 unique 66 million NIN enrolments, with an average of 3 to 4 SIMs linked to the NIN, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to ensure the success of the project. With the creation of additional NIN enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, the remaining citizens and legal residents living in the country and the diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs and link them with their SIMs before the end of the year.
Consequently, the Honourable Minister enjoins Nigerians and legal residents to make use of the opportunity of the extension to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs. On behalf of the FGN, the Honourable Minister, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu A. Aziz, urge citizens and legal residents to take advantage of the window to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the end of the year 2021.
NIN deadline extension
Recalled, on February 2, 2021, government announced 8 weeks deadline for NIN-SIM linkage with a new deadline of April 6, 2021. Since then, authorities have extended the deadline till October 30, 2021.
It was reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators. Each NIN is usually tied to an average of 3 to 4 SIMs and this infers that the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs. This number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.
Furthermore, over 1060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country, while Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have opened hundreds of centres and are rapidly deploying resources to open thousands of other NIN enrolment centres across states of the country. This is in line with the policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians.
Government reiterated the need for Nigerians and legal residents who are yet to register for the NIN to be diligent and take advantage of the extension to enroll for their NIN and link with their SIMs. It would be recalled that the 4th of February, 2020 was the initial date of the commencement of the National NIN-SIM Registration Policy.
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.
The Honourable minister implores 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.
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 transactions, including application and issuance of a passport, opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others.