By Uche Amunike
The Federal government has extended the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM verification) to October 31, 2021.
This was made known in a statement jointly signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC ) and Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Sunday in Abuja.
They said that it was a decision taken after considering requests by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions in diaspora.
According to them, the extension also became necessary in order to address low enrollments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrollment statistics.
The decision led to a review of the progress of the exercise which clearly showed commendable leaps, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across Nigeria.
As at July 24, 2021, over 5,500 systems within and outside the country where reported, which would with great measure, ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN-SIM.
Part of the statement signed reads:
‘The administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, 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 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 Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, PhD, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, 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, urged citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31 deadline.’
Recall that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami had earlier admitted that the NIM-SIM verification policy was introduced to fight insecurity in Nigeria.
He assured that criminals were already feeling the heat since the verification of National Identity Numbers with Subscriber Identification Module cards commenced.
He said there was no going back on the exercise. His words: ‘On the issue of NIN-SIM verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as a government based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is security, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all.’