President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the deadline given for mobile phone subscribers to link their National Identification Number (NIN) with their SIM registration records till May 6, 2021.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) last December directed telecommunications operators to block all SIM cards not registered with NIN by the end of 2020.
However, this deadline was later postponed till January 19, 2021, and then February 9, and then later April 6, as millions of Nigerians complained about the rowdiness caused by the ultimatum.
With the April 6 deadline approaching, the NIMC announced on Friday, April 2 that Buhari has approved another one-month extension.
The decision was reached at the meeting of the ministerial task force on the data linkage on Thursday, April 1.
“The request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it,” a joint statement by the NCC and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said.
During a media briefing on Thursday, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said over 51 million people have been assigned NIN, a significant improvement since December’s announcement.
The minister urged Nigerians to cooperate with the government to ensure the functionality of a central database in a bid to improve national security.