The original deadline for NIN-SIM registration in Nigeria was the end of 2020. It’s been moved three times since then. The new deadline – the fourth in total – is 6 May.
This means Nigerians are still required to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their SIM cards but need to complete the process a month later than previously stated by the Nigerian federal government.
The exercise was first announced in mid-December 2020 to a predictably chaotic response that saw Nigerians turning out in vast numbers at National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices amid little or no social distancing despite the threat of Covid-19.
The Federal Government then extended the deadline to February, and then to 6 April. According to news reports, the latest approval to extend the registration period was given at a meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on NIN-SIM data linkage held last Thursday in Abuja.
Nigerian government estimates indicate that over 51 million people now have their NINs. The government also suggests that the current number of monthly enrolments has increased to about 2.6 million registrations.
There has been a reported increase in the number of enrolment centres across the country with about 3,800 centres available for enrolments and more new centres in the pipeline. If correct, this is a major improvement on early February when, as we reported, only around 1,060 registration centres for NIN had been activated.
Nigerian news media estimates indicate that 17 million subscribers remain to complete their registration in the month now left before the latest deadline.