Ahead of October 31st Deadline of NIN-SIM Integration, NCC Sensitizes Telecom Consumers - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 25th, 2024
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Unless there is a change of decision on the part of federal government, the new deadline set for the linkage of the National Identity Numbers (NINs) with Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) by telecoms consumers will expire by the end of October, 2021.

To this end, Nigerian Communications Commission reminded that anybody who had not participated in the NIN-SIM integration stands the chance of losing the privilege of necessary services that play vital roles in their lives, including acquisition of driver’s license, international passport.

To avert this, the Commission is reminding telecoms consumers to explore the time frame available before the expiration of the deadline of October 31, 2021 set by the Federal Government. The Commission gave the admonition recently, during the NCC Digital Signature (NDS) radio programme, which hosted the 2nd episode of Telecoms Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) live on a radio station in Lagos to discuss benefits of NIN-SIM integration.

The audience participatory programme had in attendance representatives of the NCC, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and officials of telecoms operators.

Contributing to issues raised in the course of the programme, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, advised Nigerians to make use of the extension of the NIN-SIM integration exercise to October 31, 2021, to enroll with NIMC, get their NIN and link it to their SIMs. “Soon, people without NIN will be denied of necessary services that play vital roles in their lives including acquisition of driver’s license, international passport,” he said.

Emphasizing the benefits of the NIN-SIM integration, Adinde expressed optimism that the exercise will significantly enhance national security as NIN is the primary identity for Nigerians, stressing that in line with Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria deploys technology to improve service delivery, the NIN-SIM database will enhance citizens’ access to government services.

Recalled that originally, Federal Government had in November, 2020 set the deadline of January 19, 2021 as the last date of NIN-SIM integration, however, the hues and cries among Nigerians, coupled with the deep-rooted concerns that unregulated mass cluster of GSM consumers swarming across NIN registration centres are potential causes of likely spike of Corona virus pandemic.
Consequent upon the various concerns raised, federal government granted an extension to 9, of February, 2021, this was later extended to April 6, May 6, and June 30. The extension was also moved to July 26, in taking this decision, a statement issued by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission on June 29, had stated that such “decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems across the country”.

However, in July, the Federal Government again approved the current extension of the deadline to October 31, 2021, parts of the reasons advanced was to make it easier for its citizens within and outside the country, and legal residents to obtain the NIN, with the hope that concerned individuals will take advantage of the extension.

Accordingly, the Director of public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde in a jointly signed press statement with Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke said the decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.

At the programme, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Efosa Idehen, observed that most Nigerians are still using SIMs without unique identification, as they were yet to link their NINs to their SIMs, pointing out that “those SIMs without unique identification could be used to commit crimes that remain untraceable”. Idehen urged telecoms consumers to take advantage of the October 31, 2021 deadline to enroll with NIMC, get their NIN and link same with their SIM to avoid denial of essential services in future.

Regional Director, NIMC in Lagos, Funmi Opesanwo, noted that submission of NIN to a mobile network provider helps in providing a means of verifying an individual’s identity and safeguarding both identity and mobile line. She explained that NIN will become the first layer of verifying everything about a citizen, stating that other relevant database in other sectors of the economy are being integrated into the NIMC database for proper harmonisation.

“For instance, Bank Verification Number (BVN) is being harmonised with NIMC database. Therefore, BVN holders have automatically been allocated NIN and we advise BVN holders to dial *346# with the mobile number linked to BVN to confirm their integration. However, NINs generated via BVN must be verified and validated by NIMC through proper registration and biometrics capture at an enrollment center,” she said.

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