Five days before the previous deadline, the Nigerian government has granted telecom subscribers an additional month to get in good standing. This is the third consecutive extension recorded in the process initiated since December 14, 2020.
May 6, 2021 is now the new deadline set by Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, for the identification of telecom subscribers. The decision was taken on Thursday 1 st April, at the meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on the identification he chairs. It was ratified after approval by the President of the Republic, Muhammadu Buhari.
“ Based on updates to the identification process, more than 51 million people have been assigned a national identification number. Many people have identified themselves and are in the process of being assigned an identification number. With each person having an average of 3-4 SIM cards, the total number of SIM cards linked to national identification numbers would be close to the total number of SIM cards registered in the country, ”the Nigeria Communications Commission explained.
The telecoms regulator also indicated that “ the current number of monthly identifications has increased considerably to reach around 2.6 million. There has also been a remarkable increase in the number of identification centers across the country with around 3,800 centers available. Many other centers are also in preparation ”.
The new reprieve granted to Nigerians to have their SIM cards identified is the third consecutive since the start of the process on December 14, 2020. Originally supposed to end on December 30, 2020, the identification has seen its deadline change to January 19. 2021, then April 6 and now May 6.
According to the Nigerian Commission against Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), a member of the ministerial working group on the identification of telecom subscribers, this new extension of the deadline aims to plug the last loopholes and perfect the whole process. Its president Abdulrasheed Bawa said that once completed, the identification would help the federal government to better control the activities of fraudsters and cybercriminals.