SIM/NIN Linkage: 11.2m Mobile Lines Barred Says NCC

Nigerian Communications Commission Confirms Telecom Operators Bar Unlinked SIMs

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has verified that telecom operators have blocked all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) not linked to their owners’ National Identity Numbers (NINs).

Last week, the NCC authorized operators to deactivate approximately 11.2 million lines whose owners had failed to associate them with their NINs.

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The directive from the commission came after the expiration of a months-long ultimatum given last year for telecom customers to link their SIMs with their NINs before February 28.

However, speaking on Monday, the Commission’s Spokesperson, Reuben Mouka, stated that the disconnected subscribers had not taken the NIN-SIM linkage seriously.

During an interview with Channels Television on Monday, Mouka emphasized that the primary objective of the policy is to enhance security and national planning.

“It will be difficult to place a hand on the actual number of phone lines that have been barred. But take it that everybody who has not submitted NIN to service providers has been barred.

“The service providers started barring subscribers many days before the deadline.

“We are expecting to do an audit on that before the end of the week because the service providers ought to send in data of the subscribers barred.

“The process is to have an identity attached to a SIM. One of the benefits of SIM registration is to have a digital identity. The Nigerian government is very serious about having NIN as managed by NIMC. The idea is to ensure that we have those together. Some objectives, if you remember, are security and national planning. Also includes Know your customer’s details,” he said.