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NCC To Block Over 42 Million Inactive Phone Lines

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will bar over 42 million inactive mobile numbers from February 28, 2024.

Recall that in December 2020, the Federal Government announced the integration policy of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) into the National Identification Numbers (NIN) database, as a measure to tackle the growing trend of insecurity and kidnapping across the country.

Following the multiple deadline extensions due to pressure from Nigerians and a huge number of unlinked SIMs, the government directed telecommunication firms to block only outgoing calls on all unlinked lines on April 4, 2022.

Naija News reports that the NCC has now decided to implement the policy at full scale since it was announced in 2020, through a letter to mobile network operators in December 2023.

The NCC affirmed the federal government’s directive to bar unlinked lines by February 28, 2024, despite pleas by telecom operators that a huge amount of lines are yet to be linked with their NINs.

Speaking with TheCable, sources in the NCC said a total of 45 million lines in the country will be barred for not linking their SIM cards with their NIN.

The sources said out of the 45 million, 42 million lines have neither made a call, had a data session or sent an SMS in over one year.

Sources further disclosed that only 3 million active lines will be affected out of the 45 million to be barred.

These 42 million lines have been inactive for over a year. So essentially, from our system checks only about 3 million active lines would be barred. We expect that the users of these lines would come out to submit their NIN and unbar their lines or abandon the lines entirely,” a source stated.



Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.