The Nigerian government has insisted that telecom subscribers whose SIM cards are presently barred from making calls will not be unbarred by the service providers until they are linked with the National Identification Numbers (NINs) of the SIM holders.
The government’s position is contained in a statement issued and signed by the Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde. The statement disclosed that the information becomes necessary in view of a viral weblink (https://bit.ly/NCC-Sim-Unbar-Gov-Ng) being circulated on social media and on some websites.
According to NCC, the link and accompanying narrative represent patent misinformation and disinformation certainly designed to mislead the general public about the SIM cards that are barred from making calls, due to non-linkage with NIN at the set deadline.
The misleading, viral message mischievously displays the NCC logo and ostensibly promises members of the public that, by clicking the web link and following further instructions in that regard, subscribers with barred SIM cards can unbar such SIMs across mobile networks without a valid NIN.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the NCC wishes to state categorically that it never issued such statement, directing subscribers or indicating that subscribers can unbar their SIM without a NIN. As such, the originators and peddlers of the spurious message were out to mischievously mislead unsuspecting members of the public. Therefore, their message should be disregarded.
“The NCC is the national regulatory authority for telecommunications in Nigeria, and it is co-driving the process of the NIN-SIM linkage with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) as directed by the Federal Government.
“The Commission will not, under any circumstance, act contrary to Federal Government’s directive to MNOs to bar SIMs cards not linked to NINs at the expiration of the last deadline given for the NIN-SIM linkage exercise,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the NCC has highlighted two steps on how telecom subscribers can unbar their SIMs and be actively connected to make calls.
First, for subscribers that have not registered for their NIN, what to do is to get their SIM registered at accredited centres across the country and then link the NIN with their SIM cards through channels provided by their service providers. Secondly, for subscribers with registered NINs, what to do is simply go and link the NIN with their SIMs through channels provided by their service providers.