The Nigerian telecoms regulator has again extended the timeline for mobile phone operators to update SIM card registrations by eight weeks. The deadline was 9 February 20201.
Last December, the regulator directed telecoms firms to stop selling SIM cards while it audits compliance with SIM registration rules.
The regulator said in a statement that the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise has been extended by 8 weeks, with a new deadline of April 6, 2021.
It was reported that a total of 56.18 million NINs have been collected by the mobile network operators, the regulator said.
Each NIN is usually tied to an average of 3 to 4 SIMs and this infers that the current figure accounts for a significant portion of the existing SIMs. This number of NINs collected represents a significant increase when compared with the 47.8 million reported by the Technical Committee on January 18, 2021.
“Furthermore, over 1, 060 registration centres for NIN have been activated and made operational by NIMC across the country, while Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have opened hundreds of centres and are rapidly deploying resources to open thousands of other NIN enrolment centres across states of the country,” the Nigerian regulator said.
“This is in line with the policy of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance security and make the process of obtaining NINs easier for Nigerians.”