The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has urged Nigerians to complete their National Identification Number (NIN) registration irrespective of whether they generated the same through bank verification number (BVN).
The Nigerian government had declared on December 15, 2020, that after December 30, 2020, all SIM cards not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
But on December 21, 2020, it extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement.
The government 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.
According to the NIMC, as of October, the total number of mobile network connections was 207.58 million, but currently, only 43 million Nigerians have NIN, thus 164 million telephone users are at the risk of being deactivated.
Amidst the rush to get registered, a viral message circulating on social media claims that those who had registered for Bank Verification Number already have NIN. Thus, they do not need to register for NIN.
“Good news: So many Nigerians have NIN and they are unaware. The truth is that everyone that did their BVN when it was introduced in 2014 has NIN automatically assigned to them.
“Just dial *346# with the same number you registered for BVN and retrieve your NIN. Don’t go to NIMC centres to queue, Covid19 is real,” the message read.
But in a tweet on Tuesday, NIMC said the NIN registration must be completed despite NIN generation through BVN.
The agency warned that an incomplete registration will hinder the user’s access to the NIMC mobile application and render the NIN-SIM integration invalid.
It said, “You must complete your NIN registration even if your BVN has generated a NIN,” the tweet read.
“If your NIN was generated due to the BVN record harmonisation with the National Identity Database, you will not have access to the NIMC mobile app and your NIN-SIM integration will be invalid. Visit an enrollment centre to complete NIN registration.”