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Nigeria biometric enrollment for digital ID nears 60M on telco boost

Deadline to link SIMs extended again
Nigeria biometric enrollment for digital ID nears 60M on telco boost

Nigeria’s federal government says well over 59 million people have now been biometrically enrolled for the National Identification Number (NIN) as deadline for the linkage of the IDs to SIM cards has been extended yet again. The new deadline is now October 31, 2021.

The decision for mobile phone users in Nigeria to link their digital ID numbers to their SIM cards went effective in December and there have been at least six deadline extensions since then.

Nigerian Tribune reports that the disclosure on the latest enrollment figures is contained in a joint statement issued recently by the Public Affairs Director of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the Corporate Communications Head of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The statement, seen by Biometric Update, notes that the deadline extension for the NIN-SIM linkage comes after a review of the process of the NIN enrollment which showed there is significant progress. The 5,500 biometric enrollment systems put in place in and out of the country will go a long way in facilitating more enrollment and boost the numbers, it adds.

The extension is also intended to allow Nigerians living in difficult-to-access areas as well as those living in the diaspora to enroll for the NIN, thereby consolidating the gains so far achieved by the process.

An NIMC enrollment partner USG technologies recently sealed a deal to register the biometrics of Nigerians living in the UK and in six other European countries for the NIN.

“There are now a total of 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with average of 3 to 4 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,” a portion of the statement reads. It also cites the NCC and NIMC bosses as urging all those who have not yet undertaken the biometric enrollment and verification process to take advantage of this extension and do so.

The federal government, through the NCC/NIMC statement, congratulated some States such as Kano and Kaduna which have made the NIN mandatory for school admission and access to certain public services. It also praised the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for making the NIN a requirement its examinations this year in a bid to curb incidents of fraud.

Nigeria’s digital ID project dubbed the Digital Identity for Development Project, partly funded by the World Bank, looks to establish a digital ID for at least 148 million Nigerians by 2024.

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