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Reps ask NCC to extend deadline for blocking SIM cards without NIN

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THE House of Representatives has asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the 31st December deadline issued to SIM card owners to submit their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their network providers to prevent blocking.

Ndudi Elumelu, the house minority leader, who moved the motion during Wednesday’s plenary, said two weeks was too short for 200million Nigerians to conclude the process.

Adopting the motion, the house resolved that the exercise should end on January 28, 2021, as against December 30, 2020.

It lauds the intention of the NCC, for security reasons but wants the process to be extended to 10 weeks, considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in attaining the NIN.

The Federal Government on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number (NIN).

It also ordered the network operators to ask all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update their records and suspend SIM registration.

This formed parts of the resolutions adopted for immediate implementation by all network operators at an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry held in Abuja.

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The spokesman for the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, noted in a statement that the meeting was convened on Monday by the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami.

According to him, the meeting resolved that the submission of NIN by subscribers would take place between December 16 and 30, 2020.

The government stated that after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs should be blocked from the networks while a Ministerial Task Force comprising the minister and all the CEOs, among others, as members would monitor compliance by all networks.

It warned that violations of the directives by any network operator would be met with stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licences.

The directive has since sparked a lot of outrage on social media with many questioning its feasibility especially at a time the country is still battling to curtail the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, all registered persons can retrieve their NIN by dialling *346# on their registered phone number in all the major networks for a service fee of N20 per dial.

Also, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has announced the license of 173 centres and 30 state government institutions to conduct the enrollment of the National Identity Number (NIN) across Nigeria.

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According to the information on its website on Wednesday, NIMC said the license was approved by Isa  Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has approved the licensing of 173 Agents and 30 State Governments/Public Sector Institutions to conduct enrolment of all persons including legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),” the notice read.

“Pursuant to the above, find the list of all the successful firms who satisfied all the evaluation criteria as stated in the Advert for the Expression of Interest (EOI) of each of the respective categories in full.”

You can click below to find the lists.

[wp-embedder-pack width=”100%” height=”400px” download=”all” download-text=”” url=”https://www.nimc.gov.ng/docs/Approved_Data_Capturing_Agents.pdf” /]

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