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FG bows to pressure, extends SIM card/NIN linkage to Feb. 2021

By Stanley Iwuoha

The Federal government on Monday extended the synchronisation of SIM cards with the National Identity Number (NIN) to January and February 2021 for different categories of subscribers respectively.

A statement released by the National Task Force on National Identification Number (NIN) and SIM registration today indicates that the Federal government approved three (3) weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 19th January, 2021.

It also extended the by six (6) weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 9th February, 2021.

The extension according to the Task Force was based on the endorsement of the Federal Government to save Nigerians from the hassle of the earlier time frame.

According to the statement, the USSD and verification charges remain suspended during these extensions.

The NIMC on it’s part assured that provisions had been put in place 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 statement reads in part: “The National Task Force on National Identification Number (NIN) and SIM Registration met today, 21st December, 2020.

“Resolutions reached at the meeting include: that the Federal government has approved three (3) weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 19th January;
extended the by six (6) weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 9th February, 2021; 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 update their Identities; The Federal Government also thanks all stakeholders for their compliance with the directives; President has also commended the efforts of the Task Force and urges all stakeholders to take advantage of the extension to link their SIM card with their NIN and USSD and verification charges remain suspended during these extensions.”

The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) with major stakeholders in the sector including Chairman-NCC, EVC-NCC, DG-NITDA, DG-NIMC, ECTS/ECSM-NCC, Chairman ALTON, CEOs of MTN, Airtel, Ntel, Glo, Smile, and 9Moble in attendance.

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