The Nigeria Identity Management Commission has issued 80.7 million National Identification Numbers, exactly 19 days after the agency deactivated about 72 million telecommunication subscribers for failing to comply with the Federal Government’s NIN-Subscriber Identity Module policy.
The data on NIMC’s portal showed that the number of issued NINs hit 80.7 million on April 23, 2022, about 19 days after the Federal Government ordered telecom companies to bar outgoing calls from subscribers that had not linked their NINs to their SIMs.
The commission’s portal registrations showed a 4.67 per cent increase in issued NINs from 77.1 million as of March 21, 2022, to 80.7 million as of April 23, 2022.
According to a breakdown of the data, about 20.56 million NINs have been issued in the North-Western part of the nation; 20.23 million in the South-West; 13.59 million in the North-Central, 9.96 million in the North-East, 9.34 million in the South-South, and 6.87 million in the South-East.
On April 4, about 72.77 million active telecommunication subscribers were barred from making calls on their SIMs following the enforcement of the Federal Government’s SIM-NIN policy.
As of the time of implementing the policy, 125 million subscribers had linked their NINs to their SIMs, while 78 million NINs had been issued.
The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said more subscribers had since submitted their NINs for linkage.
According to him, as more subscribers submit their NINs, the number of people with deactivated lines will reduce.
He said, “I don’t have the current statistics, but I can say the numbers are looking up. We have more players, and more people are submitting their NINs every day as they become available.
“Things are looking up, compliance level has improved significantly, and we are hoping that as more people have their NINs captured and submit their NINs to operators, people complaining that their lines are deactivated will naturally ease out. But the numbers are looking up.”
Commenting on the plight of subscribers, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, stated that subscribers were still struggling to get their NINs, in order to link them with their SIMs.
He said, “There is still a long way to go. About 72 million subscribers are still struggling with making calls.
“If ALTON says there is an improvement, I want to believe it is on the upload side. The capacity for uptake is still slow. The operation is cumbersome, apart from that, it is slow. It is still taking them much time to generate NIN. It still takes about one week to generate a NIN, if you are lucky. Most people who want to get their work done at a relatively fast pace still have to pay. This situation has birthed a racketeering ring.”