The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has explained that the ongoing integration of National Identity Numbers (NIN) to individual SIM Card is not about the disconnection of Telecom subscribers from their networks.
Rather, the exercise is for the general safety of all Nigerians and will also help in vital exercises like National Budgeting, Policy Planning, Social Intervention programs and many more.
The NCC it has decided to make this clarification based on some erroneous media reports that the exercise will lead to the mass disconnection of telephone subscribers.
In a statement signed by its Director of Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the NCC noted that most of these publications are based on the erroneous assumption that for every network or SIM connection, there is one unique human subscriber.
This assumption, according to the telecom regulator is wrong, stating that with the advent of social media and App-driven digital environment, network subscription has gone beyond human subscribers to include machines like PoS, Routers, Wi-Fi devices, electricity meters, CCTV, tracking devices etc.
It quoted a recent survey conducted in Nigeria, which shown that on average, there are now approximately 4 to 5 SIMs to every human subscriber. This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to 7 SIMs to 1 unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal.
Thus, if there are 43 million Nigerians with NINs, this could account for about 172 million SIMs already linked to NINs.
“It is very important to emphasize that the current exercise of linking NIN to SIM(s) is for the common good of all Nigerians, as it has far reaching benefits,” it said.
The Commission added that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has assured that the Government will continue to review the exercise in the light of experiences to ensure its smooth implementation.