Legal Nigeria

NIN: Average of 2.6m SIMs linked monthly

By Lucas Ajanaku

An average of about 2.6 million Subscribers Identification Modules (SIMs) are linked with their National Identity Numbers (NIN) monthly.

Similarly, the numbers of enrolment centres have increased nationwide with about 3,800 available for this exercise, according to sources in the Ministerial Task Force on NIN-SIM Linkage chaired by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami.

According to NCC subscriber data, there are over 200million active subscribers in the country.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had said a total of 51 million of NIN/SIM linkages had been achieved so far.

“We still have a long way to go. One exciting thing about the exercise is that it is subject to review as it is not cast in iron. The team headed by the minister will continue to review developments and make recommendations to the Federal Government,” a source said.

Members of the Task Force include the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Representative of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

Others included the NCC Executive Commissioners Technical Services and Stakeholder Management, MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Glo.

It was gathered that during team’s last meeting in Abuja, a request for the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM linkage was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it.

Based on the updates of the NIN-registration process, over 51 million people have been assigned NINs. There are many people, who have enrolled and are in the process of being assigned NINs. With each individual having an average of between three and four SIMs, the total number of SIMs tied to NINs would be close to the total number of registered SIMs in the country.

It was gathered that the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa addressed the meeting and stated that the NIN-SIM linkage would support the Federal Government in the fight against fraudsters and cybercriminals.

The minister noted the importance of obtaining feedback from all stakeholders in order to ensure that the NIN-SIM linkage process is one that cannot easily be compromised.

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