NINs holders now 47.8 million – FG

NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government on Tuesday warned telephone subscribers to protect their Subscriber Identification Modules and their National Identity Numbers as it would now use the NIN to trace people for either good or bad reasons.

It also announced that a total of 47.8 million NINs had been collected by the mobile operators, as it expressed hopes that more NINs would be collected before the February 9, 2021 deadline.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, reminded Nigerians to secure and protect their NINs, urging subscribers to desist from selling their NINs or allowing others to use their NINs for registration.

Pantami gave the warning in a statement issued in Abuja by the Director Public, Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde.

“For any action committed with the SIM good or bad it will be officially traced and attached to the NIN owner,” the minister warned.

The statement further stated that at the end of a review meeting on January 18, 2021, the Technical Implementation Committee under the Ministerial Task Force reported significant progress in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage exercise.

“So far a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. At an average of three to four SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 2021,” the NCC stated.

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 December 30, 2020 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, but many organisations had called for further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.

Reacting to the report of the committee, the minister on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the commendable achievement.

He also expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation for the commitment demonstrated by all stakeholders and citizens and urged them to submit their NINs before the February 9, 2021 deadline.

Pantami urged the technical team to fast-track the processes so that the project would be delivered soonest.

The technical committee also drew attention to the App developed by the Federal Government which allows subscribers to link up to a maximum of seven SIMs to their NINs.