Nigeria delays SIM card registration order for second time - statement

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria has given telecommunication providers an extra eight weeks to add valid National Identification Numbers (NIN) to every SIM card registered in the country, according to a statement from the Nigeria Communications Commission.

The providers originally had two weeks, until Dec. 30, to make the changes before the deadline was extended for a first time. The latest deadline is April 6.

Adding the numbers to the some 200 million active mobile phone lines is a daunting task, one made more difficult by the fact that not all Nigerians have a national identification number.

MTN has said it would take six months to become fully compliant with the order.

Nigeria launched its SIM card registration rules in an attempt to stop insurgents and criminals from using unregistered SIMs.

Reporting By Tife Owolabi, writing by Libby George; Editing by Kirsten Donovan