With the total number of mobile network connections being 207.58 million, as of October 2020, and only 43 million Nigerians currently have NIN, 164 million telephone users are at the risk of being deactivated. The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Friday disclosed that the National Identification Number enrolnment process would be reviewed if the Federal Government imposed a fresh lock-down amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Pantami said that his Ministry would meet with the National Identity Management Commission, and telecommunication operators once the government announced a fresh lock-down and would review the NIN linkage to SIM cards exercise.
“If a second lock-down is enforced, then, the Ministerial task force including NIMC and all mobile network operators will sit immediately and review. The task force meets usually within one week.
“So, when there is a second lockdown, we are citizens, we must respect the Federal Government’s directives. When there is any announcement, we will come back to the drawing board immediately and review the whole thing. But now, it has not been announced and these (Covid-19) guidelines are to be respected.”
The DG also said the Ministry and NIMC were working on transforming the NIN enrolment process and the onward linkage to SIM cards as required by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The Federal Government had said telcos subscribers with NIN have January 19, 2021 as deadline to link their NIN with their SIM cards while subscribers without NIN have until February 9, 2021 to do so.