Network providers, MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, have both reacted to criticisms that trailed the Federal Government’s directive that SIM cards not linked to the National Identification Number (NIN) be barred.
The telecom industry regulator, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), had issued April 4, 2022 as deadline for the disconnection of unregistered SIM cards on the NIN database.
The registration for the NIN-SIM linkage had began in December 2020, and had been extended on multiple occasions by the regulator to offer network subscribers and telecommunications companies more time.
It was gathered that over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication, according to the NCC in a report released on Monday.
The disconnection affected 72.7 million subscribers, barring them from making outgoing calls, as there are 197.76 million registered SIMs across the networks of MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Airtel Nigeria and 9mobile, data from the regulator shows.
Responding to subscribers outcry regarding the disconnection, MTN Nigeria, on Tuesday, wrote on Twitter, “Y’ello. We apologize for any inconvenience caused you. The communication to implement restrictions on outgoing calls for customers who have not linked their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIM is a directive from the Federal Government.”
On its part, Airtel Nigeria stated simply, “Hello, please note that the NCC has directed all MNOs to bar lines not yet linked to NIN.”
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