By Jessica Dogo
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the implementation of NIN-SIM Policy and directed Telephone companies (Telcos) to bar all outgoing calls on unlinked cell phone lines from April 4.
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Mr Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said this in a joint statement on Monday in Abuja.
The statement said that Buhari also commended Nigerians and legal residents for their support during the exercise to link the National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).
The spokespersons said the government had determined that the NIN-SIM Policy implementation could proceed as machineries were already put in place to ensure compliance by citizens and legal residents.
They advised affected individuals to register for their NINs at designated centres and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.
“The implementation impacts on government’s strategic planning, particularly in the areas of security and socio-economic projections.
“The government has directed all Telcos to strictly enforce the Policy on all existing and new SIMs issued 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,” they said.
They said that as of date, over 125 million SIMs have their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication, adding that NIMC had issued over 78 million unique NINs till date.
“It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive for the implementation and commencement of the exercise in December 2020.
“This serves 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 government also took into consideration the passionate appeals by Association of Licenced Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Civil Societies, and a host of others for the extension of deadlines in the past.”
They said President Buhari, graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage.
The statement noted that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami appreciated the present administration for its tremendous support.
Pantami also commended the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Aziz, along with their Management and Staff.
The Minister also extended his thanks to notable bodies and telecommunication operators whose efforts had seen to the monumental success of the exercise.
Pantami emphasised that enrolment for the NIN should be a continuous exercise and NIN was a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service, and for several other government services.
He also encouraged Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centres for the enrolment and issuance of valid NINs. (NAN)