Panic as NCC Directs MTN, AIRTEL, GLO to Block 12 Million SIM Cards Not Linked to NIN

Following the February 28 deadline for the linkage of Subscriber Identity Module cards to National Identification Numbers the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered telecommunication companies to block SIMs without NIN.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Communication Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida, reaffirmed the development on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, while speaking at the NCC’s Special Day during the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair.

Maida, who was represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, ruled out an extension of the February 28 deadline, saying telecommunication operators have already been ordered to bar all lines not linked to NIN on before the deadline.

He said, “The National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024.

“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities.

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through the development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.”

ALTON also confirms the development
Also speaking to ThePunch on the development, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, maintained that telecommunication operators would comply with the directive of the NCC.  According to him, out of 224 million active lines in Nigeria, about 12 million lines risked deactivation.

“About 12 million SIM cards may not have been linked to NIN. Some of these SIM cards work on modems and mifi devices. According to the regulatory directives, those numbers that are not properly linked to NIN will have services withdrawn to them by midnight today. We stand by that regulatory directive and we are going to comply,” Adebayo said.

Adebayo also dismissed rumours about a possible extension of the deadline, saying, the deadline should have been effected since 2023.

Don Pedro Aganbi

Don Pedro Aganbi is a Nigerian Journalist, broadcaster, Filmmaker, brand and Public Relations Specialist and 1st prize winner, TV category, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) & Africa Information Society Initiatives (AISI) Awards. He is also a recipient of the Global IT Champion Awards, courtesy of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

He is the Founder/Managing Partner, TechTV Network and convener of the hugely popular Titans of Tech Awards, Pan African Digital Initiative Summit & Expo and the TechTV Digital Agenda Forum.

Don Pedro Aganbi is the producer and host of the popular international award winning TV show, TechTV.

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