The federal government has directed all the telecommunications operators in the country to bar outgoing calls on all unlinked mobile lines with effect from Monday, April 4, 2022.
A joint statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Monday, however, said subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos will lift the restrictions on their lines.
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“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 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”, the statement signed by spokespersons of NCC and NIMC, Ikechukwu Adinde and Kayode Adegoke, respectively said.
Meanwhile, as of date, over 125 million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for linkage, verification and authentication, the statement said.
Similarly, NIMC has issued over 78m 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, as part of the administration’s security and social policies.
The deadline for the NIN-SIM linkage has been extended on multiple occasions to allow Nigerians to comply with the policy.
The Federal Government said it 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, 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’, the joint statement said.
It said President Buhari has approved the implementation of the policy with effect from April 4, 2022.
It said; “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. Affected individuals are hereby advised 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.”