The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) would be taking action against Nigerians; who have refused to link their NIN to their SIM.
It has instructed Telecommunication companies in the country to ban users who have not linked their devices from making calls with their SIM.
This was communicated through the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde.
Also, through the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Mr Kayode Adegoke.
Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had, said that the move was part of the government’s implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage Policy.
Also, he lauded Nigerian residents for their support during the exercise of the linkage process.
However, over 72.77 million Nigerians have been noted to fall short of linking their SIM; they would be banned from making calls on the set deadline.
The deadline was March 31, which was the last day given to Nigeria to link their NIN to their SIM.
And now, the defaulters would face the consequence of not being able to receive or make calls with their SIM.
According to a statement, 125 million SIMS have been linked to their NIN, and 78% million NIN has been issued.
And the Federal Government have given Nigerians many opportunities by extending the deadline multiple times for them to comply with linking their NIN to SIM.
“Accordingly, Mr President graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point, however, the 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.
“The implementation impacts on government’s strategic planning, particularly in the areas of security and socio-economic projections.
Also, the statement issued included the effective day for the ban of SIMs.
“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 April 4, 2022.”
FG also said that those yet to link their SIM-NIN should do so before their line is completely barred.
Those whose lines have been barred already can reverse it by linking their SIM-NIN.
“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.”
For now, some of the 72 million Nigerians would have access to receiving calls, sending and receiving text messages, and using the Internet.
But reports have said that Telecommunication companies have started complying with the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
By now, many of these Nigerians would not have access to using their SIM anymore.
Responses from Nigerians and Telecomm companies concerning the policy
Below are some of the interesting reactions from Nigerians yesterday after announcing the NIN-SIM policy update.
Many of them are disappointed with the step taken by the government over the issue.
They think there are more pressing issues in the country.
BREAKING: NIN-SIM: Blocking 72 million subscribers from making calls will directly impact the ability of people to exercise their right to freedom of expression and access to information.
There are concerns about the legality of the exercise.
We're considering our legal options
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) April 5, 2022
Kaduna is under attack by Bandits., with Rain of bullets on residents.
We are yet to recover from Kaduna-Abuja train and Zaria attack.
But the Government have said only Bandits will not link NIN-SIM.
As it stands 72million subscribers are Bandits.
— ADEWIN# 🌼 (@Official_Adewin) April 6, 2022
Also, Some Telecomm companies have all released statements regarding the latest NIN-SIM policy.
MTN says, “Y’ello. We apologize for any inconvenience caused you. The communication to implement restrictions on outgoing calls for customers who have not linked their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIM is a directive from the Federal Government.”
Airtel says, “Hello, please note that the NCC has directed all MNOs to bar lines not yet linked to NIN.”
How does this affect Nigerians?
Those who are yet to link their NIN-SIM won’t be able to communicate with anyone through their SIM.
This is unless they rectify it by linking their NIN to their SIM.
Asides, these would have a great strain on business owners and those in the rural side of Nigeria.
Those living in the rural side of the country might not have access to such information and might be ignorant of what steps to take.
Also, if SIMs are blocked, it would affect those running businesses who need to make urgent calls or communicate with their client or customers.
If you are yet to link your NIN to your SIM, you don’t want to lose communication with the world.
Techuncode has collected some details you can use to get your NIN and link it to your SIM.
To know your NIN number, dial *346#. 2.
Also, to know how to link your NIN with your MTN SIM dial ( *785#). 3.
To link your NIN with your Airtel SIM, dial ( * 121 *1#) 4.
Then to link your NIN with GLO SIM, Send “UPDATE NIN , NIN NUMBER, first name, last name “to (109).
With the information, you can successfully link your NIN to your SIM and retrieve your line if you have already been barred.