Nigeria’s government has again pushed back the deadline by which mobile phone users must register a valid National Identification Number (NIN) with their operator.
This sixth delay extends the deadline from 26th July to 31st October 2021, with the decision taken after requests from stakeholders for the government “to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, for foreigners diplomatic missions and diaspora, and to address low enrolments in schools and hospitals.”
The NIN and SIM registration drive began in December 2020 with the goal of improving mobile security in Nigeria. Operators and other agents have set up enrolment centres nationwide to allow citizens and residents to obtain and register a valid NIN.
TeleGeography notes that the registration process has seen the total number of subscribers in Nigeria drop. At the end of March 2021, Nigeria logged around 188 million subscribers – down from 200 million three months earlier. Since the programme begun, the government claims that 59.8 million NINs have been registered, with an average of 3-4 SIMs registered on each NIN.