Subscribers seek NIN-SIM linkage be extended to June 30.

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They said government should use the extension for appraisal and give a fresh deadline, preferably June 30.

In Spite of the eight weeks extension for the registration, verification and linking of the National Identification Number (NIN) to Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards, subscribers have asked the Federal Government to further extend the deadline to June 30, 2021.

Subscribers, who spoke with The Guardian and those who gave their opinions through social media, applauded the Federal Government, but said further extension would enable more Nigerians to participate in the exercise.

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Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, in a statement yesterday announced extension of the deadline by eight weeks to April 6, 2021.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who spoke at a meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration in Abuja, said the extension was to give Nigerians more time to integrate their NINs with their SIMs.

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He revealed that mobile network operators have so far collected 56.18 million NINs, compared with the 47. 8 million the Technical Committee reported on January 18, 2021.

Reacting to the development, President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo commended Pantami for the extension.

Ogunbanjo, who said the association was in the process of instituting a legal case on February 8, against the Federal Government’s directive, however, said that might not be necessary for now.

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Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and other stakeholders, particularly social media users, lauded the minister for the extension, saying however, that subscribers still seek an extension till June 30.

They said government should use the extension for appraisal and give a fresh deadline, preferably June 30.

On his part, the Nigeria Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Olusola Teniola, said the Federal Government was still looking for some 40 million Nigerians that have SIMs, adding that criminals would not register for NIN but would have SIMs or use foreign ones.

Meanwhile, the NIMC issued a disclaimer on those parading themselves as its agents, who extort people for NIN registration.

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It said the NIMC did not engage the miscreants and fraudsters, neither do they represent the commission or any of its service segments.

It notified members of the public that it has not engaged any person, company or organisation to act as its consultant or agent to facilitate collaborations for the ongoing NIN enrolment.

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