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Why telecoms firms bar consumers’ SIM Cards despite linkage to NINs –NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission explains the disturbing development being experienced by several telecoms consumers usually results from the activity of ‘third-party agents’ who duplicate National Identification Numbers for unsuspecting subscribers in the country’s national identity management ecosystem

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has clarified that duplication of National Identification Numbers (NINs) is responsible for the new wave of telecoms consumers’ complaints,  who have had their SIMs barred despite linking them to their NINs.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC, which disclosed this at a recent media briefing in Lagos, noted the disturbing development being experienced by lots of telecoms subscribers usually results from the activity of “third-party agents” who duplicate NINs for unsuspecting subscribers in the national identity ecosystem.

Recent checks revealed that a considerable number of telecoms consumers, who confirmed they had received lots of SMS reminders from their network providers over certain inaccuracies in their SIM-NIN linkage, in Lagos, said they had completed same exercise years back.

Some other consumers also have claimed that their mobile phone lines had been unduly barred by Telcos, despite having linked their NINs with their SIM Cards over time.

However, in giving insight into the issue, Mr. Efosa Idehen, Director of Compliance at NCC, explained: “On the issue of already registered SIMs and NINs, the issue is that some of those SIMs were registered with duplicated NINs.

“When an audit of the system is carried out, actual owners of the NINs reclaim them.”

Idehen also stated: “We have a lot of things that people do within the industry, especially SIM-NIN linkage for money purposes.

“Yes, people register their SIMs and try to link their NINs but the agents doing those registrations do a lot of damage.

“We are seeing this and want to correct it. We want a situation where when people say they are the owners of their SIMs, there is no doubt.”

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