The Federal Government yesterday ordered telecommunication companies (Telcos) to immediately bar calls from subscriber identity modules (SIM) or mobile numbers that are yet to be linked to their National Identity Numbers (NIN).
Consequently, subscribers who are yet to link their phone numbers to their NIN will not be allowed to make calls until the linkage is done.
This was made known in a statement yesterday by the spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adinde, and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the implementation of the Policy with effect from April 4, 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 centres and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.”
Since December 2020, when the exercise began, the government had extended the deadline for the linking of the SIM to NIN by about 10 times.
Affected individuals are hereby advised to register for their NINs at designated centres and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.
Additional centres were established including private locations that were licensed by NIMC to register and link phone numbers.
The policy aims to help the authorities to check the rising spate of banditry and terrorism in the country, a development that had seen the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
According to the statement, over 125 million SIMs had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication, while over 78 million NINs have been generated.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was said to have applauded Nigerians and legal residents for their commitment during the exercise.