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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Telecom Providers Disconnect 40 million Subscribers

Telecommunications companies say they have disconnected over 40 million subscribers who did not present their National Identity Numbers in line with Nigeria’s Subscribers Identification Module and NIN linkage policy.

Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

According to Daily Post, this represents a 28 million surge from the 12 million telephone lines initially planned to be deactivated by telcos.

Adebayo said the second tier of disconnections that will happen are subscribers who have provided NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers associated with their NIN, and these have not been verified.

“I can tell you that over 40 million lines have been blocked, and the affected customers are those who didn’t submit their NINs at all. Some persons have not presented any NIN to operators.

“They haven’t registered their SIMs or participated in the harmonisation programme. They simply haven’t made any presentation of the NIN number to their operators, and those were the persons blocked. So why is the number so alarming despite repeated warnings? It shows many people still communicate but are not registered.

“The second tier of disconnections that will happen are those who have provided NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers associated with their NIN, and these have not been verified.

“This is because some have differences in the order of their names, and some have differences in their date of birth. The information provided to the operator when they did the SIM registration is different from what they provided (to NIMC) when they did their NIN. Some subscribers also have differences in other records that are critical to their verification process.

“So these people who have more than five MSINs attached to their NIN and haven’t been verified will be disconnected effective March 30, 2024.

“So, we may have more disconnections happening by the end of this month. If somebody has given a name that has not been verified and has been receiving text messages to verify and they haven’t done that, by March 30, those people will be disconnected, and the figures will further increase.”

Last week, the NCC gave regulatory directives to Telecommunications operators to restrict SIMs without NIN linkage. – DP

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