By Chinenye Anuforo
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami has 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 March 31, 2022.
As of December 30, 2021, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had issued over seventy-one million (71m) NINs with over fourteen thousand (14,000) enrolment centres set up across the country.
The 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, Pantami said in a press statement sent to Daily Sun.”
“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 remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, and registration of legal residents.”
The Minister however implored Nigerians and legal residents to enrol for the NINs and link their SIMs during this period of extension as more services will be requiring the NIN for identification. He also reiterated the commitment of the government to support the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and NIMC in ensuring that the objectives of the exercise are achieved.
Meanwhile stakeholders have for their part applauded the Federal Government on the significant growth in the number of NIN enrolments and its increased drive to enlighten Nigerians and legal residents across the country about the programme.