The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has said that so far, a total of 47.8 million National Identity Numbers have been collected by mobile operators in the country.
This is coming against the backdrop of the deadline for the linking of SIM Cards to National Identification Number which expired on February 9, 2021.
The minister, in a statement today, February 19 in Abuja, by the Director Public, Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, warned telephone subscribers to protect their Subscriber Identification Modules and their National Identity Numbers as it would now use the NIN to trace people for either good or bad reasons.
He called on subscribers to desist from selling their NINs or allowing others to use their NINs for registration.
“For any action committed with the SIM good or bad it will be officially traced and attached to the NIN owner.”
The minister said that at the end of a review meeting on January 18, 2021, the Technical Implementation Committee under the Ministerial Task Force reported significant progress in the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage exercise.
“So far a total of 47.8 million NINs have been collected by the mobile operators. At an average of three to four SIMs per subscriber, this means many millions will be linked up before the deadline in February 2021,” the NCC stated.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021, but many organisations had called for further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.