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.
To further consolidate on the successes recorded so far on the exercise, it also now begins to focus more on remote, hard-to-reach areas, schools and health centres nationwide.
A statement jointly issued by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and Head, Corporate Commission, National Identity Card Commission (NIMC), Mr. Kayode Adegoke, indicated that the decision to extend the deadline 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.
In addition, the statement further clarified 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.
For instance, it disclosed that as at July 24, 2021, there were 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.
The commissions’ spokesmen further clarified that the extension was also part of government’s “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.
“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 statement added.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, was also quoted of expressing government’s commendations to Kano State Government and other states that had made NINs a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.
This is even as the statement also expressed Federal Government’s excitement over the use of NIN in the process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, which has significantly reduced the challenge of exam malpractice.
The Minister, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, and the Director-General of the NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Azeez, were also reported to have commended Nigerians for their patience and compliance with government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
The NIMC boss further urged Nigerians and other legal residents in the country to make sure they use the opportunity of the latest extension to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.