The Federal Government on Tuesday announced extension of the ongoing National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module integration by eight weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021.
A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, disclosed that the extension was conveyed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami during the meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration which was held on the 1st of February, 2021.
The meeting which had in attendance various key stakeholders of the industry reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have so far been collected by all the network operators of which each NIN is tied to an average of 3 to 4 existing SIMs, thereby seeing an increase in the earlier figure of 47.8million communicated on January 18, 2021.
The statement also noted that over 1060 registration centres had been activated and made operational across the country by NIMC, while Mobile-Network Operators (MNOs) had also opened hundreds of centres in-order to enhance the easier process of obtaining NINs for Nigerians.
It will be recalled that it all started on December 15, 2020 when the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
But after widespread agitation against the announcement, it extended the December 30, 2020 deadline and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021, however many Nigerians had called for further deadline extension or suspension of the exercise as it violates the COVID-19 protocols and series of corruption allegations leveled against workers of NIMC