Except there is a decision reversal from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over 12 million subscribers out of the over 224, 713 million mobile telephone subscribers in Nigeria would lose their SIM cards and ultimately be unable to communicate with their loved ones or do business.

This is a result of their inability or refusal to link their SIM card with the National Identity Number (NIN) as directed by the telecom regulation.

The Nigerian government had in December 2020 through the former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami announced an integration policy to link SIM cards to the country’s National Identity Network NIN database.

A deadline of December 15 that same year was given but was widely criticized by the citizens, insisting that the deadline was almost impossible. This has led to many postponements, but it now appears the government is ready to take action.

As of yesterday, there were several reports that the Nigerian Communication Commission directed all telecoms – MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile and Glo to block subscribers that are yet to link their SIM to NIN, explaining that it is committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

NIN-SIM linkage is attaching your NIN to your phone to validate who registered the SIM. The essence of the NIN-SIM linkage is to ensure the NIN is a robust identification system for its citizens. The government also hoped that the move would make it easy to track offenders of phone-related crime cases like kidnapping and banditry.


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