The Federal Government has directed telecommunication companies to bar all outgoing calls on unlinked lines (SIMs not yet registered & linked with the National Identification Number from Monday, April 4 (today).

This is contained in a joint statement by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami has praised Nigerians and legal residents for their support and cooperation during the exercise to link National Identification Number (NIN) to the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).

In the statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the minister said that as of now, over 125 million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication.

Similarly, NIMC has issued over 78 million unique NINs till date.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the order for the implementation and starting 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 and cooperate 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.

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Accordingly, Mr. President approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage.

At this point, however, the government has stressed 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 takes effect on the government’s strategic planning, most especially in the areas of security and socio-economic projections.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly approved the implementation of the policy, with immediate 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 be stopped immediately 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.

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Affected individuals are advised to register for their NINs at designated centers and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.

Professor Pantami specially praises  President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for his tremendous and never ending support.

He also lauded the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez Abubakar, along with their Management and Staff, as well as other notable bodies whose meticulous and painstaking efforts have seen to the monumental success of the exercise.

The Minister also extended his thanks to the telecommunication operators for their support and great backup towards the success recorded.

The Minister also emphasized that “enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service, and for several other government services.”

He also advised Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centers for the enrollment and issuance of valid NINs.