In a seeming defiance of a court order, the Federal Government has extended the deadline for the linking of Subscriber Identification Modules with valid National Identity Numbers by one month instead of two months.
Justice M.A. Onyetenu of the Federal High Court, had delivered a judgement in the suit filed by a lawyer, Monday Ubani that the exercise be extended by one month effective from 23rd March.
But on Friday, spokesperson of the National Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke said the deadline was extended from April 6, 2021, to May 6, 2021.
He said the decision was taken after a meeting by the Ministerial Task Force on NIN-SIM data linkage.
His statement partly read: “The meeting took place on Thursday, April 1, 2021, and approval was given to extend the period of the NIN-SIM linkage to the 6th of May, 2021.
“The request for the extension was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and he endorsed it.”
“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, chaired the meeting.
“The meeting was attended by key stakeholders, including the NIMC, Nigerian Communications Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria.
“Others include the managing directors of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the chief operating officer of Glo.
“There are many people who have enrolled and are in the process of being assigned NINs.
“With each individual having an average of three to four SIMs, the total number of SIMs tied to NINs would close to the total number of registered SIMs in the country.”