The Nigerian government has approved a further extension to the deadline for the country’s mobile phone users to register a valid National Identification Number (NIN) with their service provider. The date has been postponed from 30 June to 26 July 2021, after a request by stakeholders ‘on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following a rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems across the country’. The aim of the NIN and SIM registration exercise, which commenced in December last year and has been extended multiple times, is to improve the security in the West African nation. To facilitate the process, telecoms operators and other enrolment agents have opened centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.
Nigeria had just over 188 million users at the end of March 2021, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, down from around 200 million subscribers three months previously, due to the ongoing registration programme. According to the government the total of unique NIN enrolments has reached 57.3 million, with an average of three to four SIMs per NIN.