The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the cancellation of the National Identification Number (NIN) retrieval charges of N20 across all networks.
In a new directive by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim, no network users will be mandated to pay the USSD fee anymore.
The directive that takes effect immediately is made possible due to the collaborative engagement with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Also, recall that NCC ordered the deactivation of all SIM cards not registered with the owners’ NIN.
As such, this new directive, according to the Minister, is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable.
Following the waiver agreement with network operators; Nigerians, subscribers, and applicants can access the service using the *346# code for their NIN retrieval at zero charges.
More so, while the waiver is temporary, it will only last for the duration of the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise.
Update on the NIN registration exercise
In our previous publication, we reported that NCC ordered the disconnection of all SIM cards that are not registered with NIN.
ALSO READ: MTN Creates Portal For NIN, SIM Card Linking
This exercise cuts across all network operators including MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile; and it is expected to last through December 30.
While the timeline is relatively short, the directive is also coming towards the festive period, when most people plan to go on holiday.
More so, this might not be the best time to take on such a risk, considering the recent news about the second wave of COVID-19.
MTN creates a portal for NIN
While there have been mixed reactions from people about the recent NCC directive, MTN is trying to make difference here.
In a recent development, the network provider created a dedicated portal that allows users to link their SIM cards to registered NIN.
As such, subscribers were also given a two-week ultimatum to complete the exercise before the portal is taking down.
While this may not provide a complete solution for subscribers; MTN noted on the portal that NINs received will be regarded as unverified.
The network operator further added that its team will be required to run the submitted NINs through the NIMC database for verification.
In the case where a subscriber provides wrong or non-registered NIN; they might be prompted to visit the NIMC office for in-person revalidation.
Reactions from Nigerians
As expected, the latest development was met with mixed reactions on social media platforms. Here are some comments from Twitter:
Honestly if they want to block it, they should block it. Cos I'm tired and maybe the 15 ppl that are able to register in 2 weeks can be calling theirsef.
— Simi (@SympLySimi) December 16, 2020
Please will they refund the ones they have collected from us? They can do so by crediting our lines with airtime.
— ODUDUOBONG UDOSEN (@houdosen) December 18, 2020
You dial *346# to check if your SIMs are linked with NIN. The service costs N20, ideally should be free.
YoY 2016, Nigeria had over 153Million Telco subscribers.
153,000,000 x N20 = N3.06Billion
Isa Pantami and NCC are the real “Shoni CC” even Hushpuppi dey learn. pic.twitter.com/oIzbeOQ7cV
— Charles (@ceonigeria_) December 16, 2020
This is just about the N20 USSD charged by network operators. What happen to the N2000, N3000 and N5000 respectively charged for enrollment at various NIMC office at the local secretariats, who would stop that extortion going on there?
— Liveandletlive (@Mudaoye2013) December 18, 2020
What of my sick mom that does not have nin number how do I carry her and sick bed to go get nin .na wa o Nigeria .this is not fair at all.
— Muna Sugar (@MunaSugar1) December 18, 2020
na where person dey work e dey chop
kudos to ncc
kudos to minister of communication and digital economy
the next edition of forbe list must include names of persons in the administration……else !!!!!
gongon a soh !!!!!
— Charles obi (@Charlobiz) December 17, 2020