20.4 million Nigerians at risk of being disconnected from GSM services


…NIMC Enrollment Centers are open on weekends

At least 20.4 million Nigerians are at risk of being disconnected from telecom services if the Federal Government implements the National Identification Number and Subscriber Identification Module policy as it has hinted .

In a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde; and the Head of Corporate Communications of the National Identity Management Commission, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, the federal government had revealed on Thursday that it was about to implement the SIM-NIN policy.

He said this as the March 31, 2022, deadline for the exercise passed. According to the federal government, subscribers now have a few days to link their SIM cards to NINs before it begins to enforce the policy.

When they are applied, subscribers who have not linked their SIM and NIN cards will not be able to use telecommunication services.

The statement said in part: “The general public will recall that the federal government has approved an extension of the NIN-SIM binding deadline to March 31, 2022.

“In preparation for the application, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, urges citizens and legal residents to use the next few days to ensure they complete the link.

“To this end, the Honorable Minister has further directed NIMC to offer round-the-clock registration services for the next few days.”

In anticipation of this, NIMC has announced that its enrollment centers will be operational this weekend. He said: “This is to inform the general public that all NIN enrollment centers across the country will be operational over the weekend.

“This allows those who have not yet obtained the NIN to do so within the timeframe set by the federal government before the start of the NIN-SIM link application.

“77.1 million unique TINs have been issued by the NIMC as of March 21, 2022, according to data obtained from the agency’s website.

There were 97.5 million unique mobile subscribers in Nigeria as of September 2018, according to the GSMA, the global organization representing telecommunications operators worldwide.

Nigeria is expected to have 130 million unique subscribers by 2025. The NCC said there were 197,768,482 active telecom subscribers as of February 2022.

At different times, the NIMC and the NCC revealed that a subscriber’s NIN can be linked to multiple SIM cards.

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