The Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has directed telecommunications companies to bar outgoing calls on unlinked lines from the 4th of April, 2022.
This was made known in a statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC and Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications, NIMC.
The statement disclosed that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on behalf of the federal government, gave the directive to telcos.
Pantami commended Nigerians and Legal Residents for their support during the exercise to link National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).
He disclosed that over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication, adding that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 Million unique NINs till date.
Noting that the deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage has been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerians to freely comply with the Policy, Pantami said the federal government also 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.
He said: “Mr. President graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point however, 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 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 centers and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.”
The Minister emphasized that enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service, and for several other government services.
He also encouraged Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centers for the enrollment and issuance of valid NINs.