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NIN-SIM Linkage: ALTON Aligns with NCC, Urges Subscribers to Link Sim Cards

“ALTON members are committed to complying with the instructions and call on telecommunication subscribers who have not obtained and/or linked a NIN to their SIMs, to do so at any of the designated centres”.

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ALTON, NIMC and NIN

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has confirmed the members’ received directives from the industry regulator – the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to restrict subscribers, yet to link their SIM cards with the National Identification Number (NIN), from making calls or send SMS.

Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman

Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman

ALTON confirmed this today in a statement signed by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo Chairman, and Gbolahan Awonuga, the Head, Operations.

We reported on Monday that the Federal Government of Nigeria told the NCC to ensure that affected telecommunications companies enforce compliance with its National Identification Number-Subscriber Identity Module policy by restricting outgoing calls on all unlinked lines as the deadline for the verification expired on March 31.

This directive was contained in a joint statement signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, and Mr Kayode Adegoke, the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission.

Available statistics show that 125 million SIMs have submitted their NINs for linkage, while over 78 million unique NINs have been issued.

It said the deadline for the NIN-SIM linkage had been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerians to comply with the policy.

It stated, “Accordingly, Mr. President graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point, however, the 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 April 4, 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 April 4, 2022.”

The Federal Government added that subscribers yet to link their SIMs to their NINs should do so before their lines are completely restricted.

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According to the NCC, there were 197.77 million active telecom subscribers as of February 2022. 125 million subscribers have submitted their NINs for verification, leaving 72.77 million subscribers on the receiving end of the Federal Government’s new directive.

The ALTON statement reads: “The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) can confirm that our members have received formal directives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to bar out-going calls on subscriber lines that are not in compliance with the NIN-SIM linkage Policy requirement that all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) must be linked with a National Identification Number (NIN).

“The directive followed multiple extensions of the deadline, which have been granted by the Federal Government to allow subscribers complete the NIN-SIM linkage.

“ALTON members are committed to complying with the instructions and call on telecommunication subscribers who have not obtained and/or linked a NIN to their SIMs, to do so at any of the designated centres.

“We remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications”.

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