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NIN: Finally, FG directs telcos to bar unlinked SIMs

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THE federal government has finally directed telecommunications operators to immediately bar outgoing calls from Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards not yet linked with National Identification Number (NIN).

 Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, issued the directive he said would come into effect from today.

  According to the statement, federal government had extended the NIN-SIM linkage multiple times to allow Nigerians freely comply with the policy.

  “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 in security and socio-economic projections. Therefore, 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,” the statement said.

  So far, over 125 million SIM cards, according to the statement, have had their NINs submitted for linkage, verification and authentication while NIMC has issued over 78 million unique NINs till date. But at least 72.8 million subscribers risk disconnection from telecommunication services following the latest directive.

  It will be recalled that federal government had earlier mandated telecommunications subscribers to link their SIMs with their NINs in December 2020.

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