For the umpteenth time, the Federal Government has extended the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to October 31, 2021, up from Monday, July 26 (tomorrow), which it had announced last month.
AbeyaNews reports that the decision to extend the deadline stemmed from a request by stakeholders who argued that effort should be made to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, by foreigners and diplomatic missions and the Diaspora, while addressing low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as indicated by enrolment statistics.
The decision also followed a review of the progress of the exercise, which showed significant progress but also the necessity to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country by giving more time for more people to enroll, according to a joint statement issued at the weekend by Director, Public Affairs, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Kayode Adegoke.
According to the statement, there were over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country as at July 24, 2021, and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.
In order to make it easier for citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN, the federal government deemed it necessary to extend the deadline for the exercise, advising those yet to fully comply with the SIM-NIN linkage directive to take advantage of the extension, the statement further explained.
“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 said.
“There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of 3 to 4 SIMs per NIN. 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 Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on behalf of the Federal Government, commends 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 is also excited 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, on behalf of the Federal Government, appreciates Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
“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, urge citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.”