Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami has commended Nigerians for complying with the directive to link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) as the federal government extends the exercise to July 26.
On May 4, the federal government extended the NIN-SIM integration exercise to June 30. January 19 was the initial deadline but was moved to February 9, April 6, May 6, June 30, and now July 26.
This is contained in a statement by IKechukwu Adinde, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s public affairs director.
The statement co-signed by Kayode Adegoke, corporate communications head of the National Identity Management Commission, said the extension followed requests made by stakeholders.
The federal government also approved the increase in the enrolment system to 5,410.
“The decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems across the country.
“As of June 28, 2021, a total of 5,410 enrolment systems are now available across the country, and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM. It is worthy to note that there were only about 800 such enrolment systems as of December 2020,” it stated.
The government added that it approved the extension as part of its effort to make it easier for Nigerians and residents to obtain the NIN, advising that “it is important to take advantage of the extension.”
It further disclosed that there were 57.3 million unique NIN enrolments, with an average of three to four SIMs per NIN.
“With the great number of enrolment centres across the country, every citizen and legal resident should be able to obtain their NINs,” the statement said.
It quoted Mr Pantami saying, “The federal government appreciates Nigerians for their patience and compliance with its directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.”
According to the statement, the NCC executive vice-chairman Umar Dambatta and NIMC’s director-general Aliyu Azeez urged Nigerians and legal residents to use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification.
In May, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the NIN-SIM directive would aid the government to easily identify Nigerians, especially criminal deviants.
Peoples Gazette reported Nigeria’s terror-thrilled Mr Pantami had begun moves to obtain Nigerians’ mobile phone identification protocols from telecom networks, a move that could further expose citizens to the state’s concerted efforts to track and monitor phone users, especially political opposition and critics.
The NCC, an agency under Mr Pantami, said all details relating to active mobile phones in Nigeria would be obtained from telecom networks and warehoused under a newly-established Device Management System (DMS).
Mr Pantami, who has been embroiled in scandal as a result of his terrorist affiliations would gain access to every Nigerian’s information in addition to the infrastructure within his jurisdiction, raising privacy concerns.