The total number of unique National Identity Number (NIN) that has been verified across networks in Nigeria has reached 59.8 million as at July this year, according to recent statistics released jointly by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
According to the statistics, a single subscriber with a single NIN has an average of three to four SIM cards, a development that gave a sharp rise in the number of active telephone lines across networks, which is currently over 200 million, up from 192 million as at May this year.
The recent figure on unique NIN enrolments shows an increase from 57.3 million unique NIN enrolments in June this year to 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments in July this year.
The unique NINs are the number of verified NINs that have been linked to all SIM cards registered by the NIN owner.
However, some NINs are yet to be verified, even though the NIN owners have submitted their NINs for verification through their network provider.
The number of subscribers that submitted their NINs through the networks of MNOs, was 90.35 million in March, representing 46 per cent of the total number of subscribers. The figure increased to 90.38 million in April, representing 47 per cent and further increased to 95.6 million in May, representing 49.7 per cent. Between June and July, more NINs have been submitted for verification, following the extension granted by the federal government for NIN enrolment and submission.
A joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, to announce the extension of the deadline for NIN enrolment and verification from July 26 to October 31, 2021, said: "There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of three to four 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."
The decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.
The decision also followed a review of the progress of the exercise, which indicated significant progress, hence the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country, the statement further said.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, on behalf of the federal government, has commended the Kano State government and other states that have made NIN a key requirement for school enrolments and access to other important services.
Pantami said the federal government was also excited at the news that the use of NIN in the process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam, significantly reduced the challenge of exam malpractice.
The Minister appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with government's directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Aliyu Azeez, urged citizens and legal residents to make sure they use the opportunity of the extension of the deadline, to complete the process of enrolment and verification before the expiration of the deadline on October 31, 2021.