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NIN-SIM Linkage…. Federal Government Directs Telcos to Bar Outgoing Calls on Unlinked Lines from 4th April, 2022

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami
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. 
In a joint statement by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), subscribers of such lines were advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines.
It notes that as at  date, over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication while the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 Million unique NINs.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa  Pantami, also commends Nigerians and legal residents for their support during the exercise to link National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM). 
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari,  gave the directive for the implementation and commencement of the exercise in December 2020, as part of the administration’s security and social policies.
The deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage has been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerians to freely comply with the Policy.
 The federal government also took into consideration the passionate appeals by several bodies including Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Civil Societies, Professional Bodies and a host of others – for the extension of the deadlines in the past.
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 and had approved the implementation of the Policy with effect from the 4th of April, 2022. 
Affected individuals are hereby advised to register for their NINs at designated centers and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.
Professor Pantami also emphasized that enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service, and for several other government services.