The National President of the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS), Prince Sina Bilesanmi has revealed how the passionate pleas made by members of association to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) led to the extension of the deadline for the National Identification Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to the 31st of March, 2022.
The deadline earlier announced by the Federal Government was Friday, December 31, 2021.
In his New Year message to Nigerians, which was made available to journalists in Lagos, the ATCIS National President, who tagged the extension as ‘last minute miracle achievement for year 2021, said the major reason for asking for the extension during the two-day meeting with the Minister was a result of record which shows that with almost 191 million subscribers, only less than 70 million subscribers have linked their NIN- SIM.
Bilesanmi noted; “Our association demanded for more days simply because with almost 191 million subscribers, record show that only less than 70 million Subscribers have linked their NIN- SIM, in this case, what happen to the 101 million subscribers?More so, NIMC has not really been making progress with what they promised us as citizens.”
Prince Sina Bilesanmi thanked the Federal Government for giving millions of subscribers another opportunity.
He sought for collaboration with the Ministry as 5G is about to be lunched come 2022 as he also applauded the efforts of the respective staff in ensuring a seamless NIN-SIM linkage and urge Telephone Subscriber’s citizen and legal residents that are yet to complete the process of enrolment, verification, and SIM linkage on or before 31st March 2022.
He however advised subscribers to be careful with their phones noting that any crime committed on their phones, they will be responsible for it.
The Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS) is the leading masses telecom advocacy body that promotes Subscriber interests as well as defends Subscriber right in Nigeria with over 190 million Subscribers membership strength across six geopolitical zone in Nigeria.
In ATCIS effort, the association has made over 730 newspaper press released publications, both local and international as well as online news publications, Radio and National Television Station Interviews with about 230 Success achievements so far to the benefit of Subscribers across the country.
ATCIS want it to be on record of history that our association has spent about #450 million naira since 2014 till 31st December 2021,which has been on self -sponsored by members without government agency’s in Nigeria.
The government had come up with the mandatory NIN-SIM linkage exercise on December 9, 2020, with a deadline of December 31st, 2021 for all subscribers to comply or get blocked from the networks. It has, however, extended the deadline several times since then.
Announcing the latest extension in a statement jointly signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head of Corporate Communications of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Mr. Kayode Adegoke, the government said the extension followed requests by stakeholders.
“Following the request by Subscriber body call ATCIS, other stakeholders, including citizens, legal residents and Nigerians in the diaspora, the Federal Government has extended the deadline of the exercise to the 31st of March, 2022. This extension would enable the Federal Government to consolidate the gains of the process and accelerate the enrolment of Nigerians in key areas like the remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, and the registration of legal residents,” the statement.
It added that the stakeholders have also applauded the Federal Government on the significant growth in the number of NIN enrolments and the increased drive to enlighten Nigerian Subscribers and legal residents across the country. “As of 30th December 2021, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over seventy-one million (71million) NINs with over fourteen-thousand (14,000) enrolment centres set up across the country,” it disclosed.
“Furthermore, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has also set up enrolment centres in over thirty-one (31) countries to cater for Nigerians in the Diaspora. The unprecedented growth in the National Identity Database to over 71 million unique NINs in such a short period, with about 3 to 4 SIMs linked to a NIN, reflects the concerted effort of the Federal Government, the Nigerian populace and legal residents and this is truly commendable.
“The Honourable Minister has, however, implored ATCIS the subscriber body and legal residents to enrol for their NINs and link with their SIMs during this period of extension as more services will be requiring the NIN for identification. He also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to support the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in ensuring that the objectives of the exercise are achieved.
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