The Federal Government has directed all network providers to cancel the N20 charge for the retrieval of the National Identification Number (NIN) immediately. 

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami gave this order in a statement issued on Friday, 18 December 2020.

“The Minister’s directive which takes immediate effect is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable,” the minister said.

“In a letter conveying the implementation of the directive, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC and the Director-General of NIMC informed Dr Pantami that the relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the Mobile Network Operators in that regard.

“By this waiver, all Nigerians, subscribers and applicants can access the service using the *346# code for their NIN retrieval at no charge for the duration of the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise.”

The Federal Government had a few days back directed all NIN should be integrated with the Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) for security purposes. The timeframe for this to be completed was two weeks which got disapproval from Nigerians who complained of the short time period.

The House of Representatives called on the National Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the 31st December deadline issued to sim card owners to submit their NIN to their network providers.

The motion was moved on Wednesday, 16 December, during plenary by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu who said two weeks is too short for 200 million Nigerians to conclude the process.

The House lauded the intention of the NCC, for security reasons but asked that the timeframe be extended to 10 weeks, considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in obtaining the NIN.