The Federal Government has extended the deadline for Nigerians to connect their National Identification Number (NIN) with their SIM registration records.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) last week directed telecommunications operators to block all SIM cards not registered with NIN by the end of 2020.

The NIN is issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) upon enrolment into the National Identity Database and is used to capture an individual's records.

The short NCC deadline has forced many Nigerians to crowd NIMC centres to register for their own numbers to prevent loss of their telephone lines.

The sight of rowdy crowds at these centres has resulted in a new wave of criticism of the government as many fear it will escalate the second wave of COVID-19 transmission sweeping the country.

In a statement released on Monday, December 21, 2020, the National Task Force on NIN and SIM Registration announced that the December 30 deadline has been extended till next year.

Subscribers with NIN have been given the grace to connect it with their records before January 19, 2021, while those without NIN have till February 9, 2021 to get it and update their records.

The task force also maintained that USSD and verification charges remain suspended for the period of the extended exercise.

The House of Representatives had passed a resolution last week for the December 30 deadline to be extended till the end of February 2021.