No deadline for SIM-NIN registration, NCC assures Nigerians

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the telecoms regulator, has clarified that there is no set deadline for the SIM-NIN linkage registration scheme aimed at identifying phone users across the country.

This clarification from the NCC comes in the wake of its directive to mobile network operators to disconnect subscribers who have not completed their SIM-NIN linkage, starting this month.

The NCC, which addressed the knotty issues surrounding the SIM-NIN linkage that has again generated public interest since it handed down the disconnection, has allayed fears of a time limit for the enrolment exercise for the subscriber registration programme.

The NCC said NIN, a unique digital identifier for Nigerians, serves as the foundational identity database for the country. Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to have the NIN while the National Identity Management Commission is the government agency responsible for the issuance and management of the NIN.

READ ALSO: NIN-SIM linkage: Over 40 million subscribers disconnected

SIM-NIN linkage matters

As of year-end 2023, the Nigerian telecoms market reached 224,713,710 phone lines representing 103.66% teledensity, according to official market statistics by NCC.

In a series of FAQs released on its website about the SIM-NIN linkage, NCC ameliorated the concerns that have been expressed by teeming subscribers across the country, as well as industry groups


The premise of enrollment for NIN, the telecoms regulator said, is a Federal Government policy. The NIN is used to connect all the records about an individual’s identity into the National Identity Database. It is also used as a valid means of establishing or verifying an individual’s identity across the board.

Registration for NIN can be activated via a visit to the nearest NIMC enrolment centre or at NIMC-approved enrolment centres or service providers to enrol for NIN, NCC told phone subscribers.

NIN-SIM linkage is a process of attaching your NIN to your phone number to validate the person who registered the SIM Card. Your phone number will not be linked to your NIN if the KYC information in your SIM Registration doesn’t match with the details of the NIN you submitted to your service provider, NCC cautioned.

Furtherance to this the step-by-step approach for NIN-SIM linkage are as follow:

a. Confirm your NIN (by either checking your NIN enrolment slip issued by NIMC or dialing *346#.]

b. Generate and submit your Virtual NIN (VNIN) to your network provider(s) via the online, USSD or other channels provided.

c. Your Mobile Network provider will then validate the submitted NIN on the NIMC database and link the SIM to NIN if validation is successful.

The less cumbersome process leads to the generation of Virtual NIN, an encrypted, coded representation version of an individual’s actual NIN, which another party verifying the number cannot retain and use in a way that puts the individual’s data privacy at risk.

You can generate your Virtual NIN via USSD or through the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App by following the steps below:

To generate a Virtual NIN via USSD, dial *346*3*Your NIN*AgentCode#

An SMS message will be sent back to you containing the Virtual NIN generated for you.

To generate a Virtual NIN via the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App, launch the MWS Mobile ID app installed on your device (Android or iOS). Make sure you have the current version of the app installed or updated on your mobile device.

Enter your PIN on the lock screen to continue.

Select the “GET VIRTUAL NIN” button on the “Home” screen.

Registration, NCC said, can be done on a maximum of 4 SIM cards per network operator and exclusively for SIMs that you may wish to use in your IOT devices. SIMS are restricted to the specific IoT service for which they were purchased. Verification for NIN can be done via a visit to NIMC website.

NCC also states that there is no proxy SIM-NIN linkage for individuals (except for corporate organisation(s) but Nigerians in the diaspora can get NIN via a visit to for details on diaspora enrollment centres. Foreign nationals who are legal residents in Nigeria can enroll for NIN at any NIMC enrollment centre at

Service providers will also inform subscribers if the verification of NIN details with SIM registration KYC fails. Subscribers are also advised to visit one of the outlets of their service provider(s) to rectify if a message is received that their NIN verification failed, the telecoms regulator said.

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