NIN-SIM Linkage: NCC Vows To Bar Subscribers Today

Unless there’s a last-minute change, subscribers with four or more lines whose SIM registration data doesn’t match their National Identity Number (NIN) data will face barring today. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has affirmed its decision not to reconsider the deadline for barring such subscribers.

According to a reliable source within the commission, this stance is driven by the objective of cleansing the nation’s SIM ownership database, aiming to prevent criminals from exploiting multiple unlinked SIMs for illicit activities.

The commission’s management, following a crucial meeting held yesterday, has been reviewing requests from telecommunications companies for an extension of the NIN verification process. Additionally, there’s discussion about potentially approving an online application solution for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), allowing subscribers with failed NIN verification due to biometric discrepancies to update their records via the app, while also enabling existing subscribers to register additional lines.

The source said: “We are not standing back on our decision. March 29th is sacrosanct. Our resolve is hinged on the need to close in on the chaos of untoward ownership of multiple SIM cards with unverified NIN details.

‘’We have instances where a single individual has over 10,000 lines linked to his NIN. In some cases, we have seen a single person with 1,000 lines, some 3,000 plus lines. What are they doing with these lines?

“From our interim findings, the owners of these lines did not purchase them for decent purposes or to undertake legitimate activities.

“We have given them enough time to make the decision of which of their lines they want to keep and discard the others. They did not. All lines in this category with unverified NINs will be barred. They will be then expected to go to their operators and decide which of the lines they want to keep, as well as submit correct NIN details.

“Some people would say they want to use it for car trackers, or IoTs, but provision has been made for these services already. They are not under the ‘Max-4 Rule.’

“Across the world, no country allows you to have 1,000 SIM cards to make calls or texts.”

The Max-4 Rule announced by the Federal Government in April 2021 provides that telecom subscribers cannot have more than four lines per mobile network operator.

The NCC has also provided Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) an extension till July 31st 2024 within which they are expected to verify all NINs submitted by subscribers with four (4) or fewer SIMs, as well as bar those whose NIN fail verification with NIMC.