Telcos to block subscribers without NIN on Feb
December 20, 2023
- By Prince Osuagwu, Emma Elebeke & Juliet Umeh
Telecom companies in Nigeria have warned all subscribers, who Subscriber Identity Module, SIM cards are yet to be linked with their National Identity Numbers, NIN, to do so before February 28, 2024, or lose the numbers parmanently.
This came as the umbrella body of the telcos, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, yesterday, said it had agreed to abide by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, directive to delist telephone lines without NIN.
Recall that the NCC, on April 4, 2022, directed that all Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Numbers, MSISDNs, for which the subscribers failed to submit their NINs were placed on outgoing call restriction only, and the affected subscribers were advised to verify their NINs before being reactivated.
However, the telcos say, despite the limited service restriction, millions of subscribers have yet to submit their NINs for verification.
Consequently, the NCC issued another directive on December 15, 2023, for telecommunications operators to commence full network barring of the affected MSISDNs on the effective dates.
Reacting to the directive, ALTON on behalf of its members, said: “We, refer to the NCC directive communicated to our members to implement full network barring on all MSISDNs for which the subscribers have not submitted their NINs and those without verified NINs.
“The NCC has directed our members as provided below: That all MSISDNs for which the subscribers have not submitted their NINs, are to be barred on or before February 28, 2024.
“That where five or more MSISDNs are linked to an unverified NIN, such MSISDNs are to be barred on or before March 29, 2024.
“Where less than five MSISDNs are linked to an unverified NIN, such MSISDNs are to be barred on or before April 15, 2024.
“All affected subscribers must be verified (biometrics and biodata) before their lines are unbarred.
“The public will recall that the Federal Government commenced implementing the SIM/NIN harmonization program in December 2020 through the NCC. This programme requires all telecommunications subscribers to link their NINs to SIM registration records to avoid service restrictions.
“The linking involves validating the NIN with the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, and matching the subscriber’s NIN records with the SIM registration information (verification) to ensure proper subscriber identification.
“We, therefore, wish to appeal to esteemed subscribers to kindly enroll for NINs or submit their NINs through the appropriate channel advertised by members to avoid full suspension of services by the set deadlines.”