SIM registration: FG extends deadline by three weeks

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NIMC shuts down Lagos offices amid crowd surge

FEDERAL Government yesterday, extended by three weeks, the deadline for provision of National Identification Number (NIN) by telecommunication service subscribers in Nigeria.

  A statement credited to Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy gave new deadline for the exercise as January 19, 2021.

  The statement titled ‘Extension of Registration Period and Cancellation of USSD and Verification Fees’ was jointly signed by Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta and Director-General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz.

  According to the statement, the period for the exercise was extended after a meeting of National Task Force on National Identification Number and SIM Registration.

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  “The decision to extend the deadline was reached after National Task Force on National Identification Number and SIM Registration met. The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali 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. Based on the endorsement of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the following resolutions were made: Three (3) weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 19th January, 2021; and six (6) weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 9th February, 2021,” the statement reads in part.

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   Similarly, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) yesterday shut down its offices in Lagos State as large crowds gathered to register and obtain National Identity Number (NIN). 

NIMC Spokesman, Kayode Adegoke, said the decision was taken to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as the country strives to stave off second wave of the pandemic.

  “Our offices in Lagos State were only shut down today (that was Monday, December 21) in adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols. Enrollment would commence tomorrow (that is today) but applicants would be given a tally confirming date of their enrollment,” Adegoke said.

  It will be recalled that Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) recently ordered telecommunications companies to suspend phone subscribers who have no NIN within two weeks. But a public rights advocacy group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SEAP) had described the order as an abuse of human rights and threatened to sue Federal Government within seven days if NCC fails to rescind the order.

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