By Jessica Dogo/Olasunkanmi Onifade
The Federal Government said it has extended the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to Oct. 31 based on a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions in diaspora.
It added that the extension is also to address low enrollments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrollment statistics.
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said this in a joint statement on Sunday in Abuja.
They, however, hinted that there were presently a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of three to four SIMs per NIN in the country.
According to them, the decision also followed a review of the progress of the exercise which indicates significant progress, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.
“As at July 24, 2021, there are over 5,500 enrollment systems within and outside the country and this will significantly ease the NIN enrollment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.
“The government 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 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.
“With the great number of enrollment 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 also said that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami commended the Kano State government and other states that had made NIN a key requirement for school enrollments and access to other important services.
Pantami appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration.
“The Federal Government is 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 malpractices,” Pantami said.
The statement also quoted the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta and the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez as “urging citizens and legal residents to make sure they used the opportunity to complete the process of enrollment and verification before the Oct. 31 deadline.