World Bank Funded Digital Identity Scheme in Nigeria Leads 60m to Link National ID to SIM Cards

(Biometric Update) – Nigeria’s federal government says well over 59 million people have now been biometrically enrolled for the National Identification Number (NIN) as deadline for the linkage of the IDs to SIM cards has been extended yet again. The new deadline is now October 31, 2021.

The decision for mobile phone users in Nigeria to link their digital ID numbers to their SIM cards went effective in December and there have been at least six deadline extensions since then.

Nigerian Tribune reports that the disclosure on the latest enrollment figures is contained in a joint statement issued recently by the Public Affairs Director of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the Corporate Communications Head of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The statement, seen by Biometric Update, notes that the deadline extension for the NIN-SIM linkage comes after a review of the process of the NIN enrollment which showed there is significant progress. The 5,500 biometric enrollment systems put in place in and out of the country will go a long way in facilitating more enrollment and boost the numbers, it adds.

The extension is also intended to allow Nigerians living in difficult-to-access areas as well as those living in the diaspora to enroll for the NIN, thereby consolidating the gains so far achieved by the process.

An NIMC enrollment partner USG technologies recently sealed a deal to register the biometrics of Nigerians living in the UK and in six other European countries for the NIN.

“There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of 3 to 4 SIMs per NIN. With the great number of enrolment centres within and outside the country, and many more coming up, every citizen, legal resident, and Nigerian citizens living in diaspora should be able to obtain their NINs,” a portion of the statement reads. It also cites the NCC and NIMC bosses as urging all those who have not yet undertaken the biometric enrollment and verification process to take advantage of this extension and do so.

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