• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

SIM-NIN: Telcos to cut-off subscribers with multiple lines as deadline nears

SIM-NIN: Telcos to cut-off subscribers with multiple lines as deadline nears

Telecommunication subscribers with five or more lines linked to unverified National Identity Numbers (NINs) will be disconnected on March 29, according to a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The disconnection process, which began on February 28, 2024, is part of the government’s effort to boost security in the country. The move aims to mitigate the potential misuse of multiple SIM cards for illicit activities.

Read also: NIMC, NCC partner to boost NIN verification process

On February 28, 2024, operators cooperated with the NCC in executing the directive’s first phase, which affected 40 million lines.

Gbenga Adebayo, president of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), told BusinessDay that the SIM-NIN deadline for subscribers with more than five lines whose NIN has not been verified will not be contested.

“This is an open request to the public for those yet to verify their NIN to visit the nearest NIN centers and update their records before the end of the month. Otherwise, they will be disconnected,” he said.

Commenting on what telcos stand to lose when the directive is implemented, Adebayo noted that the security and integrity of the national database are of greater importance to all operators.

Adeolu Ogunbanjo, national president of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, explained that these efforts are aimed at boosting security at all costs, and subscribers should do the right thing by verifying their NIN, especially if they are linked to multiple SIMs.

According to him, an unverified NIN means a subscriber did not perform proper due diligence in the registration process.

“For instance, some subscribers didn’t do their NIN verification process in a registered location, and some information was not disclosed during the process. That is why these subscribers have been asked to return to registered locations to verify their NIN and update all necessary information.

Read also: Voice, Internet services back at 90% capacity — NCC

“This is also to ensure that there is no disparity between the information on a SIM and the NIN linked to it,” Ogunbanjo stated.