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NCC orders Telecoms to block 12 Million unlinked SIM Cards as deadline expires



NCC orders Telecoms to block 12 Million unlinked SIM Cards as deadline expires

NCC orders Telecoms to block 12 Million unlinked SIM Cards as deadline expires

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunications companies to block approximately 12 million Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards that are not linked to National Identification Numbers (NIN), following the expiration of the February 28 deadline.

During the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, reiterated this directive, emphasizing that there would be no extension beyond the deadline. Representing Maida, Reuben Mouka, the Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, confirmed the decision.

Mouka stated, “The National Communications 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. As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities.”

He further emphasized the Commission’s commitment to protecting consumer rights while ensuring their satisfaction and promoting economic growth through the development of local content.

Additionally, Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, affirmed that telecom operators would comply with the NCC’s directive. Adebayo clarified that out of the 224 million active lines in Nigeria, approximately 12 million risked deactivation due to non-compliance with the NIN linkage requirement.

“Some of these SIM cards work on modems and mifi devices. According to the regulatory directives, those numbers that are not properly linked to NIN will have services withdrawn to them by midnight today. We stand by that regulatory directive and we are going to comply,” Adebayo stated.

He also dispelled rumors of a possible deadline extension, noting that the deadline should have been enforced since 2023.

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