NCC Confirms Disconnection of Subscribers as Deadline on Unlinked SIM Cards With NIN Passes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has officially confirmed the implementation of its directive to telecom operators, resulting in the barring of all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) that are not linked to their owners’ National Identity Numbers (NINs).

Last week, the NCC had granted approval for operators to block approximately 11.2 million lines whose owners had failed to complete the NIN-SIM linkage process.

This action comes in response to the expiration of a months-long ultimatum issued last year, requiring telecom customers to associate their SIM cards with their NINs before February 28.

In an interview on Monday, Reuben Mouka, the spokesman for the Commission, explained that subscribers who were disconnected had not adhered to the NIN-SIM linkage requirement, emphasizing the primary goal of enhancing security and national planning.

Mouka stated, “It will be difficult to ascertain the exact number of phone lines that have been barred. However, consider that everyone who has not provided their NIN to service providers has been affected. The service providers initiated the disconnection process several days before the deadline.”

He further indicated that an audit will be conducted by the end of the week to assess the extent of compliance, as service providers are expected to furnish data on the subscribers affected by the directive.

“The objective is to have a digital identity attached to a SIM. The Nigerian government is earnest about the NIN initiative managed by NIMC. The aim is to ensure alignment between the two identities, with objectives including security, national planning, and Know Your Customer (KYC) details,” Mouka explained.

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