The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says foreigners residing or employed in Nigeria for less than two years are exempted from the mandatory national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM) integration exercise.

The directive is contained in the NCC revised national identity policy for SIM card registration released on May 11, 2021.


The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in January 2021 announced that all foreigners residing in Nigeria are required to participate in the NIN-SIM exercise.


NIMC advised all expatriates resident in Nigeria to visit its nearest enrollment centre to enroll and obtain their NIN in order to complete their NIN-SIM integration.


 “Foreigners validly transiting through Nigeria or are employed in or reside in Nigeria for less than 24 months are exempted from the mandatory use of NIN requirement,” part of the document read.


“Persons in this category need to provide justification that they will be residing in Nigeria for less than 2 years.


“Foreigners with Visitor’s visas (with visa less than 2 years) do not require a NIN. Operators will capture the following on their records: International passport bio-data page; and Visa page.


 “Those staying less than 2 years will require the following for registration of their personal telephone lines: International passport bio-data page; and Letter from embassy indicating that their stay is for less than 2 years.”


The NCC asked telecommunications companies to block SIM cards not registered with NIN within 14 days in December 2020.


However, the NIN-SIM linkage deadline has been extended five times since the initial announcement.


It was extended to January 19, then moved to February 9, April 6, May 6, and now June 30.


The regulatory body said the extension is part of the federal government’s effort to make it easier for citizens and residents to obtain the NIN and advised that it is important to take advantage of the extension.