Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has extended the deadline for the linkage of the National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module integration (SIM) until June 30, 2021.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Ikechukwu Adinde, and Head of Corporate Communications of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Kayode Adegoke on Tuesday.
The decision was said to have been taken at a virtual meeting attended by Pantami; Chairman of the NCC Adeolu Akande; Executive Vice Chairman of NCC Umar Dambatta; and Director-General of NIMC Aliyu Azeez.
The statement read that the extension was sequel to requests by ‘stakeholders’ to allow more Nigerians and ‘legal residents’ to register.
According to Pantami, significant progress had been made in the linkage of SIM cards to NIN as more than 54 million persons had been registered.
He added that the 54 million registrants translated to about 190 million phone numbers in operation across Nigeria.
The statement also read that Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provided for the ‘mandatory’ use of a national identification number to access government services.
Pantami has been asked by many Nigerians to resign his position as a minister due to his past extremist Islamic views that recently surfaced across social media.
The minister had slated the deadline for SIM linkage for February 9, before giving an extension of eight weeks, which was to lapse this week.