According to Nigerian press reports, Nigerians now have another new deadline by which to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their SIM cards.
The country's federal government has this week approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to 30 June.
The original deadline for NIN-SIM registration in Nigeria was the end of 2020. It’s been moved four times since then. The last deadline was 6 May.
A statement jointly signed by Dr Ike Adinde, the director of public affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, and Kayode Adegoke, the head of corporate communications at the National Identity Management Commission, on Tuesday, explained that the latest deadline came after requests by stakeholders for an extension.
It’s true that significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. We reported yesterday that over 35 million of MTN Nigeria’s subscribers had submitted their National Identity Number (NIN) – approximately 50 percent of its subscriber base.
In fact Nigerian media say that almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN. Given multiple lines per person this figure could represent 190 million mobile numbers.
Progress notwithstanding, the latest date change is surely another indication that the original registration date was wildly optimistic.
Still, an Android enrolment system, now ready for deployment, is expected to speed up the remaining enrolments, while there are now a significant number of centres across the country at which people can obtain and link their NINs.