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175m SIMs linked to NINs – Official

About 175 million active SIM cards have been linked to their owners’ unique National Identity Numbers despite last week’s two-day warning strike by staff of…

About 175 million active SIM cards have been linked to their owners’ unique National Identity Numbers despite last week’s two-day warning strike by staff of the National Identity Management Commission, a top government official has said.

The two-day strike and a slight software glitch in NIMC’s information and technology network system had disrupted the enrollment exercise last week.

The official, who spoke didn’t want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, told Daily Trust on Sunday that only about 30 million SIMs had not had their NINs linked by their owners.

Nigeria’s tele-density rose by 2.2 per cent from 104.4 per cent to 106.6 per cent, even as 4.2m new telephone lines were activated in the last quarter of 2020, increasing the country’s total telephone subscribers’ base to 203.5m, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Tele-density is the number of telephone connections for every 100 individuals living within an area. It varies across nations, and between urban and rural areas within a country.

The NCC had said there would not be mass disconnection of telecom subscribers as a result of the ongoing linkage of NIN records to SIM registration.

The commission’s spokesperson Ikechukwu Adinde said last week that many Nigerians had already linked their NINs to their SIMs and there shouldn’t be any fear of mass disconnection.

“A recent survey conducted in Nigeria has shown that on average, there are now approximately 4 to 5 SIMs to every human subscriber. This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to 7 SIMs to 1 unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal”, Adinde had said.

Thus, he said, if there were 43 million Nigerians with NINs, this could account for about 172 million SIMs already linked to NINs.

Meanwhile, the NIN enrollment will resume at NIMC offices and other designated centres nationwide today.

“The National Identity Management Commission is glad to inform the general public that normal enrolment services for the National Identification Numbers (NINs) have been fully restored at all NIMC offices nationwide as the glitches experienced since January 6, 2021, have been sorted out”, NIMC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke said at the weekend.

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