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NCC debunks claims of mass disconnection of telephone subscribers

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NCC Official on Operators
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has clarified the unfounded fears of mass disconnection of telephone subscribers.

The Commission was reacting to publications in some sections of the media (TechEconomy.ng excluded), alleging that telecom network operators have commenced mass disconnection of telecom subscribers who have yet to integrate their National Identification Number (NIN) to the SIM card registration.

A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, explained that most of these publications are based on the erroneous assumption that for every network or SIM connection, there is one unique human subscriber.

He clarified that with the advent of social media and App-driven digital environment, network subscription went beyond human subscribers to include machines like PoS, Routers, Wi-Fi devices, electricity meters, CCTV, tracking devices etc.

The Statement reads:

“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to numerous publications in both print and electronic media regarding the unfounded fears of mass disconnection of telephone subscribers as a result of the ongoing linkage of SIM Registration Records with the National Identity Number (NIN).

“It is therefore necessary for the Commission to issue this clarification in order to allay the fears of subscribers and the general public.

“Most of these publications are based on the erroneous assumption that for every network or SIM connection, there is one unique human subscriber.

“However, with the advent of social media and App-driven digital environment, network subscription went beyond human subscribers to include machines like PoS, Routers, Wi-Fi devices, electricity meters, CCTV, tracking devices etc. 

“A recent survey conducted in Nigeria has shown that on average, there are now approximately 4 to 5 SIMs to every human subscriber. This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to 7 SIMs to 1 unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal.

“Thus, if there are 43 million Nigerians with NINs, this could account for about 172 million SIMs already linked to NINs. It is very important to emphasize that the current exercise of linking NIN to SIM(s) is for the common good of all Nigerians, as it has far reaching benefits.

“Apart from enhancing our general safety, this will help in such vital exercises like National Budgeting, Policy Planning, Social Intervention programs and many more.

“The Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has assured that the Government will continue to review the exercise in the light of experiences to ensure its smooth implementation.

“We call on all our media partners, publishers and reporters to always endeavour to seek clarification from the Commission before going to the press, especially on sensitive issues.

Background

TechEconomy.ng had reported Nigerian government’s directive to telecommunication operators through the Nigerian Communication Commission to block subscribers who fail to link their mobile numbers to their NIN after February 9, 2021 deadline.

ALSO READ  It’s now mandatory to use NIN, others as NIMC gazettes supplementary regulations

While the holidays have ended, huge crowds have reappeared at NIMC centres nationwide.

But on appearing live on ChannelsTV earlier today, NIMC regional coordinator, Fummi Opesanwo, claimed that the rationale behind the huge crowd observed on Wednesday, thus: ”When we came this morning, a lot of applicants complained that their SIM (cards) have been blocked and that is why we are experiencing this large number today.

Some NIMC officials have had to extort enrollees by cashing in on their desperation to get the NIN registration sorted out before the deadline given by the government expires.

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