By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The deadline for the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) with the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) as directed by the federal government has again been shifted to Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
This extension was announced in a statement jointly signed by Mr Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mr Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
It was disclosed that the shifting of the verification deadline was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, at a virtual meeting chaired by him.
The gathering also had in attendance the Chairman of the NCC, Prof Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta; the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez, amongst others.
The postponement of the NIN-SIM linkage deadline was also based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till 30th of June, 2021, in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register, the statement said.
According to the statement, significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process as almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines.
The much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments, it added.
Furthermore, the telecom providers and other enrolment agents have also opened several centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.