Following the directive of the Federal Government (FG), over 72.77 million active telecommunication subscribers have been barred from making calls on their Subscriber Identity Module (SIMs) by telecommunication companies.
Recall the FG has fixed March ending as deadline for the linkage of National Identification Number-Subscriber Identity Module. Therefore on Monday the Federal Government ordered telecommunications companies to enforce compliance with the policy by restricting outgoing calls on all unlinked lines as the deadline for the verification expired on March 31.
The Nigerian Communications Commission gave the directive through a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Mr Kayode Adegoke.
According to the statement “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.
“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.”
According to the NCC, there were 197.77 million active telecom subscribers as of February 2022. 125 million subscribers have submitted their NINs for verification, leaving 72.77 million subscribers on the receiving end of the Federal Government’s new directive.
The commission added that subscribers who are yet to link their SIMs to their NINs should do so before their lines are completely restricted.