Nigeria’s Communications Commission (NCC) has extended the deadline for telcos to register mobile phone users who link their mobile SIM cards with their national ID numbers, according to a statement by the country’s ministry of communications and digital economy.
The NCC had previously announced a week prior that telecoms operators would be given until December 30 to block subscribers who fail to link their SIMs and ID numbers, while threatening to cut off users who aren’t verified, and strip mobile companies of their licenses if they don’t comply.
The tight deadline announcement was met with nationwide anger, as telcos are currently in a race against time to update and link the SIM cards of up to 30 million of their users.
People with a valid national identification number have until January 19 to send the number to mobile operators to register their lines, while for others without a national ID number, they will have until February 9 to obtain one and link their mobile phones to it.
“The President appreciates Nigerians for their patience and commitment to update their identities and urges all stakeholders to take advantage of the extension to link their SIM card with their national identification number,” the ministry statement said.
According to Statista, there are nearly 200 million mobile phones in use in Nigeria and the government registering them will help tackle insecurity and build a unified database.