Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami

The Federal Government on Monday boasted that criminals were now feeling the heat following its directive on the verification of National Identity Numbers with Subscriber Identification Module cards.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the heat was currently being felt by criminals because the NIN-SIM verification policy was introduced to fight insecurity in Nigeria.

In a series of tweets via his official Twitter handle, the minister said there was no going back on the NIN-SIM verification exercise.

Pantimi said, “On the issue of NIN-SIM verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as a government based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is security, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all.

“FYI (for your information) all, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop @IsaPantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari on security.


“Finally, if you are yet to verify your SIM using NIN, do it very soon, before our next action. Criminals are feeling the heat.”

On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.

It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021.

But many organisations called for further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to get their NINs.

On February 2, 2021, the government listened to the deadline extension call and shifted it to April 6, 2021.

On April 2, 2021, the Federal Government extended the deadline for linking SIMs with valid NINs by one month, extending it from April 6, 2021 to May 6, 2021.

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