…Enforcement commences today
Sequel to the deadline for linking the National Identification Number (NIN) with the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), the Federal Government has directed telecommunication companies to bar outgoing calls on unlinked lines from today (April 4, 2022).
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who gave the directive said the restriction of calls on ‘unlined’ lines can only be lifted by the telcos when the affected lines link their SIMs to their NINs.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive for the implementation and commencement of the exercise in December 2020, as part of the administration’s security and social policies. The deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage have been extended severally to allow Nigerians comply with the policy. Also, the FG took into consideration the passionate appeals by several bodies – Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), civil societies, professional bodies and a host of others – for the extension of the deadlines in the past.
Accordingly, President Buhari graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point, however, the government has determined that the NIN-SIM Policy implementation can proceed, as machinery has already been put in place to ensure compliance by citizens and legal residents. The implementation impacts on government’s strategic planning, particularly in the areas of security and socio-economic projections.
President Buhari has approved the implementation of the policy with effect from April 4, 2022. Consequently, the Federal Government has directed all Telcos to strictly enforce the Policy on all SIMs issued (existing and new) in Nigeria. Outgoing calls will subsequently be barred for telephone lines that have not complied with the NIN-SIM linkage Policy from April 4, 2022.
“Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines. Affected individuals are hereby advised to register for their NINs at designated centres and, thereafter, link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App,” a statement from the ministry said.
Pantami appreciated President Buhari for his tremendous support. He also commends the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Dambatta, the director-general of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Abubakar along with their management and staff, as well as other notable bodies whose efforts brought about the monumental success of the exercise.
The minister also extends his thanks to the telecommunication operators for their support towards the success recorded.
Also, Pantami emphasised that enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service and several government services. He also encouraged Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centres for the enrollment and issuance of valid NINs.
A statement jointly consigned by the NCC’s director of press, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and the NIMC’s head, corporate communications, Kayode Adegoke said Pantami commended Nigerians and legal residents for their support during the exercise to link NIN to the SIM.
“As of date, over 125 million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication. Similarly, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 million unique NINs to date,” the statement added.