Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Nigeria orders 73M unregistered SIMs disconnected

Article Image
The government of Nigeria has ordered telecoms operators to disconnect any phone lines that have not been linked to a citizen's National Identification Number (NIN) as it finally holds firm on its March deadline to have all SIMs in the country linked to a specific person.

This is part of a SIM registration process that has been going on since December 2020. The deadline for the NIN-SIM linkage exercise has been extended on multiple occasions to give Nigerians time to comply with the policy. The latest registration deadline was March 31, 2022, and tens of millions of SIMs still remain unaccounted for.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said in a statement that all telcos need to strictly enforce the policy on all SIMs issued, existing and new, in Nigeria. As of April 4, 2022, outgoing calls will be barred for telephone lines that have not complied with the NIN-SIM linkage policy.

Millions outstanding

So far, 125 million SIMs have been linked and verified during the process. The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has also issued over 78 million unique NINs to date.

The latest data from the NCC estimates that there were about 198 million active mobile lines in Nigeria in February 2022. This leaves about 73 million SIMs that have not been linked to a person's identity.

The NCC estimates that there are on average three or four SIMs linked to each NIN in Nigeria.

Having a National Identification Number is now a precondition to have access to services for telecoms, banking, the Nigerian Immigration Service and several other government services.

The regulator said the telecoms deadline had been extended many times but "at this point however, 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."

Related posts:

*Top image source: tomekwalecki on Pixabay.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

SA's smart city finalists win big for innovation

South Africa's City of Johannesburg's Smart City Office has awarded four innovators R500,000 (US$31,434) for their innovative solutions.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up