Embattled Pantami announces extension of NIN registration

The embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has announced the extension of the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise till June 30, 2021.

This pronouncement was made via a jointly-signed statement issued on Tuesday by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde; and the Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke.

The statement is titled, ‘NIN Enrolment Reaches 54 Million as FG Approves 30th of June as NIN-SIM Verification Deadline’.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that this decision was reached at a virtual meeting attended by Pantami, as well as the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Umar Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Aliyu Azeez.

Pantami explained that the extension was announced based on unanimous requests from stakeholders and “in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.

The statement reads, “Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to 3 to 4 phone lines.”

The Federal Government has initially declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs would be blocked.

However, it has been extended twice with the latest extension date formerly February 2, 2021.

The minister had been in the eye of the storm recently with many Nigerians calling for his sack over alleged links for known terrorist groups.

Though he apologised for his utterances in the past that had also stirred controversy, and the presidency had also expressed faith in him, many were uncomfortable that he oversees such a sensitive process as the NIN/SIM linkage process.

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