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FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline By Eight Weeks

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Federal Government has extended the deadline of linkage of National Identity Number (NIN) to SIM cards by 8 weeks.

It would be recalled that on December 15, Federal Government declared that after December 30, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

It later extended the December 30 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, to January 19, 2021.

FG also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021.

However, shortly before the January deadline elapsed, many telephone users and organisations called for a deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large number of people that are yet to get their NINs.

This was contained in a statement signed ​​​by Mr.
Kayode Adegoke​​, Head, Corporate, ​Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

According to the statement, which was dated February 1, the extension was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

The statement partly reads;

The ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021.

Dr. Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM.

The joint statement added that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators, “a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.”

The NIN exercise and deadline(s) attached to it has drawn backlash from several quarters over its timing as thousands flock to registration centres, flouting COVID-19 directives such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.

However, the federal government blamed Nigerians for not complying with strict COVID-19 protocols put in place for the smooth conduct of the exercise.

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