The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to October 31, 2021, even as NIN enrolments hit 59.8 million.
The decision to extend the deadline for the seventh time, which was to expire on Monday July 26, 2021, was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, Diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.
A joint statement issued on Sunday by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Kayode Adegoke, noted that the decision also followed a review of the progress of the exercise which indicated significant progress, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.
As of July 24, 2021, there are over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM, even as the government urged citizens and legal residents to use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.
The statement said:
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the extension as part of efforts to make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension.
The NIN-SIM linkage also makes it easier for the security agencies to carry out their statutory duties and the relevant parastatals under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are supporting them as required.
It added that there are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of 3 to 4 SIMs per NIN.
The statement said:
With the great number of enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, every citizen, legal resident, and Nigerian citizens living in diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on behalf of the Federal Government, commended the Kano State government and other States that have made NINs a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.
The Federal Government expressed excitement at the news that the use of NIN in the process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam significantly reduced the challenge of exam malpractice.
The Minister also appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise, the statement said.
Similarly, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez, urged citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.