By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Federal Government has once again extended the deadline for Nigerians to link their phone numbers with their National Identity Numbers (NIN).
The deadline for the exercise was Friday, December 31, 2021, but the government has again moved it to March 31, 2022.
The spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adinde, and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, disclosed this in a statement jointly signed, on Friday.
This is the ninth time the government has postponed the deadline for the registration since it enforced a compulsory registration and linkage in December 2020.
“The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, wishes to convey 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.
“Currently, NIMC has issued over 71million NINs with over 14,000 enrolment centres set up across the country. The NIMC has also set up enrolment centres in 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,” the statement said.
It added that the extension would enable the Federal Government to consolidate on the gains of the process and accelerate the enrolment of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, and worship centres.
Pantami urged Nigerians and legal residents to enroll 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 NCC and the NIMC in ensuring that the objectives of the exercise are achieved.