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NIN-SIM Integration: Nigeria lauds compliance, directs Telcos to bar outgoing calls on unlinked lines from April 4

Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy

*The Federal Government has directed all telecoms companies (Telcos) to strictly enforce the policy on existing and new Subscriber Identification Module Cards and bar outgoing calls on telephone lines non-compliant with the NIN-SIM linkage policy in the country, with effect from April 4, 2022

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, on behalf of the Federal Government, has commended Nigerians and legal residents for their support during the exercise to link National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) in the West African country.

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ConsumerConnect reports as of date, the government noted that over 125million 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 till date, stated the government.

Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, gave the directive for the implementation and commencement of the exercise in December 2020, as part of the administration’s security and social policies.

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The deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage has been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerian consumers to freely comply with the policy.

The Federal Government also took into consideration the passionate appeals by several bodies, including the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Civil Societies, Professional Bodies, and a host of others, for extensions of the deadlines in the past.

Accordingly, Mr. President graciously approved the several requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage in Nigeria.

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However, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, and Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications of NIMC, in a joint statement issued early Monday, April 4, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, said at this point, 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 regulators also stated that the implementation impacts the Federal Government’s strategic planning, particularly in the areas of security and socio-economic projections.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the implementation of the Policy with effect from the 4th of April, 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 the 4th  of April, 2022,” the statement noted.

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The regulatory authorities further advised subscribers of such lines to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines.

The government as well urged the affected individuals 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.

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Both NCC and NIMC also said: “Professor Pantami specially appreciates President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for his tremendous support.

“He also commends the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez Abubakar along with their Management and Staff, as well as other notable bodies whose efforts have seen to the monumental success of the exercise.”

Pantami as well  applauded the telecommunications operators for their support towards the success recorded thus far.

The Minister further stressed that enrollment for the NIN is a continuous exercise, and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and for several other government services.

Pantami also encouraged Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centres for the enrollment and issuance of valid NINs across the country.

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