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NIN-SIM linkage: We’ve directed telcos to block unlinked subscribers, says NCC

NIN-SIM linkage: We've directed telcos to block unlinked subscribers, says NCC NIN-SIM linkage: We've directed telcos to block unlinked subscribers, says NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its directive to telecom operators to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers (NIN) on or before February 28, 2024.

Aminu Maida, executive vice-chairman, NCC, spoke at the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday.

Maida, represented by Reuben Mouka, NCC’s director of public affairs, insisted that as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their NIN to their SIM.

“To this end, the commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” Maida said.

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Speaking further, Maida said as a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, “the commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities”.

According to the executive vice-chairman, as NCC promotes economic growth through the development of local content, as well as addresses the challenges faced by consumers, the commission is “committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction”.

“We therefore encourage businesses and service providers to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery With our keen interest and commitment to consumer protection, the NCC has implemented measures to safeguard the interest of consumers and businesses alike,” he said.

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“We have established a robust regulatory framework that promotes transparency, quality of service, and fair competition. Additionally, we have set up channels for consumer redress, ensuring that consumers can resolve disputes in a timely and efficient manner.

“The (NCC)  had on May 17, 2023, directed all licensed mobile network operators (MNO) to commence implementation of approved Harmonised Short Codes (HSC) for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers The measure initiated by the Commission is a bid to improve the Quality of Experience (QoE) of consumers across all mobile networks.

“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks. For instance, the same code *310# will be used for checking airtime balance across all the networks.

“Campaign on National Identification Number-Subscriber Identification Module (NIN-SIM) linkage – NIN-SIM Linkage is a process of connecting your NIN to your phone number to authenticate and protect your identity. To link your NIN to your SIM, a subscriber needs to submit his/her NIN to their respective Service Provider to complete the process of NIN-SIM linkage

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“For subscribers who do not have the NIN, they can obtain theirs from National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) enrolment centres of your service providers customer care centres, and you need a valid ID Card and BVN for enrolment.

“A subscriber can also link his/her NIN to his/her SIM by sending NIN- your 11 digit NIN to 996 or Dial *996*.”

On December 18, 2023,  MTN Nigeria had announced that the commission had directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of unlinked subscribers from February 2024.

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