NIN-SIM linkage: Over 40 million subscribers disconnected

Telecommunications companies have announced the disconnection of more than 40 million subscribers who failed to provide their National Identity Numbers, NIN as per Nigeria’s Subscribers Identification Module and NIN linkage policy.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday. This represents a 28 million-dollar surge from the 12 million telephone lines initially planned to be deactivated by telcos.

Adebayo said the second tier of disconnections that will happen are subscribers who have provided NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers associated with their NIN, and these have not been verified.

“I can tell you that over 40 million lines have been blocked, and the affected customers are those who didn’t submit their NINs at all. Some people have not presented any NINs to operators.

“They haven’t registered their SIMs or participated in the harmonisation programme. They simply haven’t made any presentation of the NIN number to their operators, and those were the persons blocked. So why is the number so alarming despite repeated warnings? It shows that many people still communicate but are not registered.

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“The second tier of disconnections that will happen are those who have provided NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers associated with their NIN, and these have not been verified.

“This is because some have differences in the order of their names, and some have differences in their date of birth. The information provided to the operator when they did the SIM registration is different from what they provided to NIMC when they did their NIN. Some subscribers also have differences in other records that are critical to their verification process.

“So these people who have more than five MSINs attached to their NIN and haven’t been verified will be disconnected effective March 30, 2024.

“So, we may have more disconnections happening by the end of this month. If somebody has given a name that has not been verified and has been receiving text messages to verify and they haven’t done that, by March 30, those people will be disconnected, and the figures will further increase.”

Credible News recalled last week plans to ban SIMs not linked to NIN following regulatory directives by the Nigerian Communications Commission after the February 28 deadline.

Last week, the NCC gave regulatory directives to telecommunications operators to restrict SIMs without NIN linkage.

The development comes after several deadline extensions since the policy was kicked off by the then Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, in 2020.

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