Nigeria has extended the deadline for the mandatory registration of all mobile phone SIM cards by eight weeks.
The extension is meant ”to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN [national identity card] with the SIM”, Communications Minister Isa Pantamisaid in a statement
Users risk having their mobile phone numbers deactivated if they fail to register them by 6 April.
The West African country has a population of about 200 people. The ministry said mobile telecoms operators had so far registered 56.18 million, with each person estimated to own about three to four cards.
President Muhammadu Buhari is quoted in the minister’s statement as urging “Nigerians and persons of other nationalities to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process”.
Some Nigerians had protested against the initial deadline because most people had not acquired a national identity card with which it is necessary to register a SIM card.