Several Nigerians have again gathered at the offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Lagos and Abuja, to register for their National Identification Number (NIN).
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, had initially issued a two-week ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number.
It later extended registration for NIN by up to six weeks, from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021
A statement jointly signed by the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta; and Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Aziz, said, “Based on the endorsement of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the following resolutions were made: Three (3) weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from 30th December 2020 to 19th January 2021; and six (6) weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from 30th December 2020 to 9th February 2021.”
Nigerians, in a bid to retain connectivity, have crowded NIMC offices to get their NINs and the pressure on the agency's website resulted in its shutdown last week.
The development comes at a time when the country is witnessing a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Several people who gathered at the offices did flout COVID-19 protocols put in place to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was observed that the majority of them did not use their face masks and physical distancing was not observed.
Many have appealed to the government to create more registration centres to ease the process and consider extending the deadline further.