The Nigerian government has extended the deadline for the ongoing national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM) integration exercise by four weeks.
The new deadline is May 6, 2021.
The request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari who endorsed it, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami disclosed in a statement on Friday.
“The meeting took place on Thursday, April 1, 2021, and approval was given to extend the period of the NIN-SIM linkage to May 6, 2021. The request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it,” the statement said.
January 19 was the initial deadline, but it was moved to February 9, later to April 6 and now May 6 – indicative of a system led by people who hardly understand how to execute projects.
Whatever the reason to link SIM cards to NINs was a well-thought idea, but the execution is always the problem with Nigeria’s leadership.
It began with asking Nigerians to go squeeze themselves at NIN centres whose officials feel every registrant is at their mercy and can be ignored.
There have been too many times when the federal government has failed to remember that this is not a military era, and going digital can make the registration seamless. But, we like the analog age right?
Notwithstanding knowing that the country has over 200 million people who may not be able to meet up with the new deadline, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says Nigerians without a National Identification Number (NIN) risk 14 years imprisonment.
According to him, 51 million Nigerians have enrolled for the National Identification Number as of March 31, 2021.
He explained that while obtaining a SIM card may be optional, NIN is mandatory, noting that a lot of transactions in the country are not supposed to be carried out without NIN.
But, what if Nigerians just get a six months or one year notice?
Indeed, if we wanted to get it right in Nigeria, we need to be sure about the ideas, execute them well, ensure consistency and maintenance.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram