With about 22 days to the February 9 deadline for the enrolment, verification and linking of the National Identification Numbers (NIN) to Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, telecoms operators have raised the alarm over the challenge they have with the backend integration of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The Guardian gathered that one of the reasons many subscribers had not received any confirmation from their network operators, after submitting their NINs is because there has been no seamless confirmation from the backend of the NIMC.
In other words, for every NIN registered by Nigerians and sent to telecoms operators, the service providers are expected to confirm the authenticity (verification) of the owner from the backend of NIMC, but, according to one of the technical officials of MTN, this has remained very challenging.
“We are having challenges with the backend integration with the NIMC database because of the ancient backend support at the Commission. Some subscribers have sent their NINs to their network providers, and you will be told that it has been acknowledged, but it will not go through finally until we are able to check at the backend of NIMC to confirm the authenticity of the subscriber’s identity because we don’t have any way of knowing, except NIMC confirms.
“It is NIMC that is supposed to confirm that and get back to us. So many subscribers have sent their NINs, but the Commission is yet to confirm their authenticity. It is a serious challenge, which they are managing. It is also one of the reasons we cannot give the number of subscribers that we have verified to date.”
According to findings, this is one major reason so many subscribers, who have in the past two weeks submitted their NINs, have not been verified by the telcos, and subsequently no status information for them.
The Chairman of the Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, confirmed this challenge.
Speaking with The Guardian, Adebayo said: “Yes, we confirmed some challenges with integration at NIMC but that is part of what is being addressed as part of the challenge of the entire ecosystem. We expect that the issues will be resolved and it won’t result in any delays.”