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SIM-NIN Linkage: NCC Warns MTN, Glo, Airtel Against Non-Compliance




SIM-NIN Linkage: NCC Warns MTN, Glo, Airtel Against Non-compliance

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has vowed to punish any telecommunication companies that fail to comply with the directive to block Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards not linked to National Identification Numbers (NINs).

Recall that NCC had in December 2023 asked telcos to bar an estimated 12 million lines that have not been linked to the owners’ NINs after the expiration of the February 28, 2024, deadline.

In a statement on Wednesday, the telecoms regulator reaffirmed its stance to block any phone lines without NIN and ruled out an extension of the deadline.

Speaking with Punch on Thursday, the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Reuben Mouka, said any telecom operator that fails to comply with the directive will face sanctions.

He said, “It is not an issue whether the telcos have started complying or not. We have asked to link the SIM cards to NIN. We have given our directives, and we expect compliance. So, if there is any evidence of non-compliance, what follows would be sanctioned.”

Asked when this sanction would commence, Mouka said, “We can’t say this is the time we would begin to start sanctioning. That also requires a regulatory process. But any operator that fails to comply will be sanctioned.”

Naija News reports that the compulsory linkage began in December 2020, when the federal government, through the NCC, directed telcos to block calls from unregistered and unlinked NINs.

Since then, there have been extensions, but over 12 million SIMs still remain unlinked to NIN.

The move by the FG to mandate the linking of phone numbers was to enhance security measures in the country.

The directive aimed to streamline the identification process and improve accountability for individuals associated with specific phone lines.

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.