Nigerians have been expressing mixed feelings on the extension of the deadline for the National Identity Number (NIN) and SIM linkage.
Adekola Olugbenga, who spoke with Blueprint said, “I have tried to register my National Identity Number (NIN) online but I couldn’t. At least i have more time now, to avoid blocking of the SIM.”
James Akpan told our correspondent that the extension announced by the federal government was an indication that the government is unserious.
“They will still extend it. Nigerians will still not do it even if they say their life depends on it,” he said.
Recently, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) had announced the approval of the federal government to further extend the deadline for the National Identification Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to the 31st of March, 2022.
According to him, in a statement signed by Director Public Affairs Nigerian Communications Commission Dr Ike Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications National Identity Management Commission Mr Kayode Adegoke, stakeholders had applauded federal government on the significant growth in the number of NIN enrolments and the increased drive to enlighten Nigerians and legal residents across the country.
As of 30th December 2021, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over seventy-one million (71m) NINs with over fourteen thousand (14,000) enrolment centres set up across the country.
“Furthermore, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has also set up enrolment centres in over thirty-one (31) countries to cater for Nigerians in the Diaspora. The unprecedented growth in the National Identity Database to over 71 million unique NINs in such a short period, with about 3 to 4 SIMs linked to a NIN, reflects the concerted effort of the federal government, the Nigerian populace and legal residents and this is truly commendable.
Following the request by stakeholders, including citizens, legal residents and Nigerians in the diaspora, the federal government has extended the deadline of the exercise to the 31st of March, 2022. This extension would enable the federal government to consolidate the gains of the process and accelerate the enrolment of Nigerians in key areas like the remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, and the registration of legal residents.”
The Minister however implored Nigerians and legal residents to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs during this period of extension as more services will be requiring the NIN for identification.
He also reiterated the commitment of the federal government to support the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in ensuring that the objectives of the exercise are achieved.