The Federal Government has extended the initial 15 days deadline issued to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) which has not been linked to the users National Identification Number (NIN).
This was adopted at a meeting of the National Task Force on NIN and SIM Registration in Abuja today, as chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, and the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, confirmed the extension of the deadline in a statement released at the end of the meeting.
The meeting approved three weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from Wednesday 30th December to Tuesday, 19th January, 2021. The meeting also agreed that registration for subscribers without NIN should be extended by six weeks – from December 30 to February 9, 2021. Read also: NIN: Nigerian Communications Commission Implements New SIM Card Rules
“NIMC has provided strategies to enable citizens attend the registration in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols – particularly the use of facemasks which remains mandatory and maintenance of social distancing. The President appreciates Nigerians for their patience and commitment to updating their identities; the Federal Government also thanks all stakeholders for their compliance with the directives,” the statement read.
The government insisted that the USSD and verification charges for the purpose of linking SIMs with NIN remained suspended during the period. Those who attended the meeting included major stakeholders in the sector, including the heads of NCC, NIMC, and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of telecommunications operators such as MTN, Airtel, Ntel, Glo, Smile, and 9Moble, were also in attendance.