President Muhammadu Buhari Approves Extention Of NIN-SIM Linkage
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that no subscriber should be blocked from telecom operators’ networks till February 9, 2021.
According to the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the ongoing NIN/SIM linking exercise till February 9, 2021.
Subscribers, who pleaded for further extension, would have had their lines blocked January 19, being the initial deadline for them to link their SIMs to their National Identity Number, NIN.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked. It later extended the deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021.
However, before the January deadline, many telephone users and organisations called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large number of people that are yet to get their NINs.
At the expiration of the January 19 deadline, Nigerians went into panic mode, following the consistent statements by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami that those who didn’t meet the deadline will be blocked.
Yesterday, the federal government yielded to the cry of the people by suspending the blockage of lines of the January 19 deadline defaulters to February 09, 2021.
The association said the extension will help in the mission to create a credible national identity database for the country.
“To ensure that we utilise the extension period judiciously, we urge all telecom subscribers who have a NIN to link it to their SIM Cards through available channels as soon as possible.
Those yet to enroll are advised to visit www.nimc.gov.ng for a list of enrolment centres close to them,” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday, January 20.