The Federal Government has yielded to the cries of the masses over pains to link the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) and has therefore extended the linkage by eight weeks.
News of the extension was contained in a statement signed by spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigeria Identity Management Commission.
According to the statement, which was dated February 1, the extension was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.
“Dr. Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM,” the statement said.
The new deadline for the exercise is now April 6.
The joint statement added that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators, “a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.”
The NIN exercise and deadline(s) attached to it has drawn backlash from several quarters over its timing as thousands flock to registration centres, flouting COVID-19 directives such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.
However, the federal government has blamed Nigerians for not complying with strict COVID-19 protocols put in place for the smooth conduct of the exercise.
Nigerians resident abroad have also been protesting pains to link their NIN with their SIM.