The Federal Government has directed telecommunications companies (TELCOs) in the country to bar SIM cards that are not linked with National Identification Numbers (NIN) from making calls.
This was disclosed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday following several extensions approved by the regulator.
As of February, Nigeria has 198.1 million mobile subscribers according to industry data by the NCC.
This implies that 73.1 million SIM cards will be disconnected by network operators.
The NCC said, “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.
“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.”
The NCC had on 1st April 2022 approved a last-minute window for Nigerians to link their NIN to their SIM cards.
The regulator said that as of date, over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 million unique NINs to date.