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Nigerian govt insists on blockade of unlinked SIMs

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The Federal Government Tuesday ruled out reprieve for unlinked Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in the country.

The government had last week directed telecom operators to block unlinked SIMs from making outward calls until their owners complete the integration to the National Identity Number (NIN).

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed this in a statement following calls for the commission to unblock the 72 million telephone lines barred over their owners’ inability to link them with the NIN.

The statement read: “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wishes to officially inform telecoms consumers, whose Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are barred from making calls, that affected SIMs will not be unbarred by the service providers until they are linked with the National Identification Numbers (NINs) of the SIM holders.

“This information becomes necessary in view of a fake viral web link (https://bit.ly/NCC-Sim-Unbar-Gov-Ng) being circulated on social media and on some websites.

“The link and the accompanying narrative represented patent misinformation and disinformation and are designed to mislead the general public about the SIM cards barred from making calls, due to non-linkage with NIN at the set deadline.

READ ALSO: NIN-SIM LINKAGE: SERAP issues 48-hour ultimatum to Nigerian govt over blocked lines

“The misleading, viral message mischievously displays NCC logo and ostensibly promises members of the public that by clicking the web link and following further instructions in that regard, subscribers with barred SIM cards can unbar such SIMs across mobile networks without a valid NIN.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the NCC wishes to state categorically that it never issued such statement, directing subscribers or indicating that subscribers can unbar their SIM without a NIN.

“As such, the originators and peddlers of the spurious message were out to mischievously mislead unsuspecting members of the public and should therefore be disregarded in its entirety.

“The NCC, therefore, uses this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM link to among others, strengthen security situation in the country, assist in other socio-economic planning activities of the government as well as to always advance the course of consumer protection from falling victim to the antics of cyber fraudsters.”

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