Minister Isa Ali Pantami

By Muhammad Sabiu

The Nigerian government has extended the deadline for the country’s mobile phone users to link their SIM cards and their National Identity Numbers (NINs).

The announcement of the extension is contained in a joint statement signed by the spokespersons of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adinde.

This is not the first time the government has extended the deadline as every mobile phone user “should be able to obtain their NINs and link them with their SIMs before the end of the year.”

According to the statement, the move is due to appeals made by mobile network operators and other stakeholders.

“The decision to extend the deadline was made further to appeals by the Mobile Network Operators and other industry stakeholders, soliciting for a further extension to ensure better compliance with government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide.

“The extension would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable, and increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians,” the statement read.
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