The Federal Government has again approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to October 31, the sixth extension since December last year.
A joint statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Sunday said the decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions and Nigerians in diaspora.
The statement signed by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs Ikechukwu Adinde and NIMC Head of Media Kayode Adegoke also said the extension would address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.
“It also followed a review of the progress of the exercise which indicated significant progress hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country”, the officials said.
As at Saturday 24 July, Adinde and Adegoke said, there are over 5,500 enrolment systems within and outside the country “and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM.”
They said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension as part of efforts to make it easier for Nigerians within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN.
The statement urged Nigerians to take advantage of the extension to avoid their mobile lines from being blocked after the expiration of the exercise.
It said: “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.”
The statement by Adinde and Adegoke also revealed that 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,” they said.
The statement quoted the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami as commending the Kano State government and other states that have made NINs a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.
It added: ” 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, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta, and the Director-General/CEO of that National Identity Management Commission, Engr Aliyu Azeez, urge citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the October 31st deadline.”