The Head, Corporate Communications of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) recently announced the extension of the deadline of the National Identity Number (NIN) -SIM integration by a period of 3 weeks from 30 December 2020 to 19 January 2021 for subscribers with NIN; and 6 weeks from 30 December 2020 to 19 February 2021 for subscribers without NIN.
The extension was necessary to give the NIMC adequate time to complete the registration of outstanding persons. The Government had earlier directed telecommunication companies to link all SIM cards with the NIN of their subscribers by 31 December 2020 to avoid disconnection.
Foreigners residing in Nigeria are required to participate in the NIN-SIM integration exercise. According to the NIMC, adequate measures have been put in place to enable both Nigerian citizens and legal residents, who do not have NIN, to enroll and obtain their NIN. Therefore, all expatriates resident in Nigeria should visit the nearest NIMC enrollment center to enroll and obtain their NIN in order to complete their NIN-SIM integration. It will be recalled that in August 2017, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGIS), Mr. Muhammed Babandede, MFR, had announced Government’s plan to harmonize the databases of the NIMC and NIS. The CGIS noted then that the harmonized database will enable expatriates resident in the country to obtain NIN which will become a requirement for renewal of expatriates’ residence permits. Consequently, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) had requested all expatriates resident in Nigeria to obtain the NIN to avoid being denied future immigration facilities. Please read our publication of 3 August 2017 for details on the NIMC-NIS Database Harmonization.
The NIN-SIM integration exercise is expected to assist the Government’s efforts in fighting the insecurity challenges facing the country. Therefore, the extension of the NIN enrollment deadline by the NIMC is a welcome development. This will enable expatriates who will be returning to the country from the holidays to complete the process and avoid disconnection of their mobile numbers. However, with the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria, the NIMC should consider deploying an online registration platform as an alternative to physical visits to its offices for the enrollment exercise. Meanwhile, it is hoped that the government will embark on a more comprehensive data integration exercise to consolidate the personal data of Nigerian citizens and residents currently held by its different agencies in a central database.
Please click here to access the NIMC’s Press release.
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