IT/Telecoms

More Subscribers Risk Disconnection As Telcos Bar Unverified NINs From Friday

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given the nod to telecommunication companies (Telcos) to disconnect subscribers with five or more lines linked to unverified National Identity Numbers (NINs), starting March 29, 2024.

Recall that in a notice dated December 20, 2023, the NCC gave the directive to Telcos to block SIMs that had yet to be connected to the NINs of their owners by February 28, 2024.

According to a directive issued by the NCC in December last year, all telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others are to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024. 

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred. On NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN. Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024.

Following these directives, Telcos had so far barred an estimated 40 million telephone lines not linked to NIN. MTN Nigeria reported that over 4.2m lines were disconnected from its network after the February 28 deadline given by the NCC.

This was reflected in the recent data released by NCC that showed a decline in the country’s mobile subscription database by over six million in January this year to 218, compared to 224.4 million recorded in December 2023.

With few hours to the March 29 deadline, the president of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo told LEADERSHIP that there is no going back with the directives to disconnect subscribers with more than five lines whose NIN has not been verified.

“This is a matter of security, hence, the reason we are appealing to consumers to do the needful by linking their NIN to their SIM. The process is now seamless, following the partnership between NCC and NIMC,” Adebayo appealed.

Credit: Leadership Newspaper

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