Telecommunications companies have been licensed to register people who do not have National Identity Numbers so as to reduce the large crowds at the offices of the National Identity Management Commission, the NIMC has said.

Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said some other private and public organisations had also been licensed by the commission to provide NINs in order to address the crowds at commission’s offices.

This came as workers of the commission told our correspondent on Tuesday that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had constituted a committee to address the demands of NIMC employees.

NIMC workers had downed tools on January 7, 2021 in protest against the poor welfare issues at the commission, but their strike was suspended after the intervention of the minister.

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Responding to an enquiry as regards measures taken by NIMC with respect to complains by citizens and the crowds at the commission’s offices, Aziz said mobile network operators had been empowered to also give the identity numbers.

“We have licensed private and public sector organisations including telcos (telecommunications companies) so as to create more centres,” he stated in a WhatsApp message to our correspondent.

National Identity Management Commission

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

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