Nigeria: 47.8 Million NINs Collected By Telecom Operators, Says NCC
As the initial deadline given by the federal government of Nigeria for the submission of subscribers' National Identification Number (NIN) came to pass on January 19, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that operators received 47.8 million NINs from subscribers.
The government expressed satisfaction over the turnout and "impressive response" of the registration. In a statement released by NCC, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was quoted saying that "the figure showed that many Nigerian subscribers would be linked to their NINs before the February 9 deadline." The federal government has warned Nigerians against selling their SIM cards linked with the NINs, disclosing that any SIM card crimes would be traced for appropriate action.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economic also reminded Nigerians to secure and protect their NINs, urging subscribers to desist from selling their NINs or using 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 warned.
The statement further stated 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.
The federal government had initially declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked. However, the deadline was extended to January 19, 2021. It also has now given an extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021.
The number of active telecoms subscribers across networks has reached over 204 million, with MTN leading with 75 million subscribers. They are all expected to register, obtain NIN, and submit their NINs for integration with their SIM cards.