The Nigerian government has once again extended the deadline for data verification of the National Identification Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) to March 31, 2022.

Meanwhile, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced that it has issued over 71 million (71m) NINs, with over 14,000 enrolment centers across the country.

The approval was conveyed to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, according to a joint statement signed by Dr Ike Adinde, Head of Corporate Communications, Nigerian Communications Commission, and Mr Kayode Adegoke, Director of Public Affairs, National Identity Management Commission.

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The stakeholders in the sector have also praised the Nigerian government for the significant increase in the number of NIN enrolments and the increased drive to educate Nigerians and legal residents across the country, according to the statement.

“As of December 30, 2021, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had issued over seventy-one million (71m) NINs across the country, with over fourteen thousand (14,000) enrolment centers.”

“In addition, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has established enrolment centers in over thirty-one (31) countries to serve Nigerians living abroad.”

“The unprecedented growth of the National Identity Database to over 71 million unique NINs in such a short period, with approximately 3 to 4 SIMs linked to a NIN, reflects the concerted effort of the Federal Government, the Nigerian populace, and legal residents, and is truly commendable.”

“The Federal Government has extended the deadline of the exercise to the 31st of March, 2022, in response to a request from stakeholders, including citizens, legal residents, and Nigerians in the diaspora.”

This extension will allow the Federal Government to consolidate the process’ gains and speed up enrolment of Nigerians in key areas such as remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centers, and legal resident registration.”

During this period of extension, the Minister, Professor Pantami, has urged Nigerians and legal residents to enroll for their NINs and link them to their SIM cards, as more services will require the NIN for identification.

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He also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to assisting the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in achieving the exercise’s goals.

On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Minister, the Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, thanked all Nigerians and stakeholders for their commitment and support in ensuring the project’s success.

They also praised the respective staff’s efforts in ensuring a seamless NIN-SIM connection, and urged citizens and legal residents to complete the enrolment, verification, and SIM linkage processes by March 31, 2022.

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