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Buhari Approves Partial Blocking of 82 Million Unlinked SIMs

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the blocking of outgoing calls from all SIM cards that are not linked to NIN.

Subsequently, all telecommunication companies have been directed to effect the ban on both old and new SIMs from Monday 4th April 2022.

In a statement jointly issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and Nigerian Identity Management Commission, NIMC, about 125 million SIMs have been linked to NIN so far.

The implication of this is that about 82 million SIM cards will not be able to make phone calls but receive calls only.

The statement jointly signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, and Mr. Kayode Adegoke the Director of Corporate Communications of NIMC reads:

“On behalf of the Federal Government, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has commended Nigerians and Legal Residents for their support during the exercise to link the National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).

“As of date, over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification, and authentication. Similarly, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 Million unique NINs to date.

“It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, gave the directive for the implementation and commencement of the exercise in December 2020, as part of the administration’s security and social policies. The deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage have been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerians to freely comply with the Policy.

“The FG also took into consideration the passionate appeals by several bodies- Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Civil Societies, Professional Bodies, and a host of others — for the extension of the deadlines in the past.

“Accordingly, Mr. President graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point, however, 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 the 4th of April, 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 the 4th of April, 2022. Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines”.

If you are affected by this new directive, visit a designated center close to you to register for NIN. Thereafter, link the NIN to your SIM via channels provided by telecommunication companies and NIMC so that the restriction will be lifted.

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