NIGERIAN Communications Commission (NCC) has reminded telecommunication customers of the October 31 deadline set for linking of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) and National Identity Number (NIN).
The commission urged customers to do the linking before the deadline set by federal government expires.
NCC gave the admonition during a radio-based programme called NCC Digital Signature which hosted the second episode of Telecoms Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) conducted live in a radio station in Lagos.
The programme was to sensitize telecom consumers about the benefits of NIN-SIM integration.
Speakers in the programme were staff delegation from NCC, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and officials of telecom companies in Nigeria.
NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde urged Nigerian customers to take advantage of the extension given to register with NIMC, get their NIN and link it to their SIMs. He disclosed that after the deadline, people without NIN would be denied essential services which include acquisition of international passport, driver licence and other things that play vital roles in their lives.
Adinde emphasized that the NIN-SIM integration is to help enhance national security as NIN helps to provide identity of every citizen.
He added that the NIN-SIM integration would also help in seamless synchronization of database and enhance citizens’ access to government services.
Also speaking at the programme, the NCC Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said there are many Nigerians who are still using SIM cards without unique identification because they were yet to link their NINs to their SIMs.
Idehen pointed out that such SIMs without unique identification could be used to commit crimes without being traced.
NIMC Regional Director, Lagos, Funmi Opesanwo, explained that submission of NIN to a mobile network provider helps in providing a means of verifying an individual’s identity for security reasons.
Opesanwo stated that NIN would become the primary means of verifying everything concerning a citizen, adding that databases in other sectors were being integrated into the NIMC database for proper harmonization.
She said, “For instance, Bank Verification Number (BVN) is being harmonized with NIMC database. Therefore, BVN holders have automatically been allocated NIN and we advise BVN holders to dial *346# with the mobile number linked to BVN to confirm their integration. However, NINs generated via BVN must be verified and validated by NIMC through proper registration and biometrics capture at an enrollment center.”
TCTHR is a consumer outreach programme of NCC that affords telecom customers the opportunity to lay complaints and ask questions about telecom services being offered by the operators.