Business News

NIN-SIM linkage: MTN disconnects 4.2 million lines after NCC’s deadline 

MTN Nigeria said it has disconnected 4.2 million lines from its network as the February 28 deadline fixed for the linking of National Identification Numbers (NIN) with mobile SIMs lapsed. 

The company said the lines disconnected were those for which the subscribers did not submit their NIN. MTN disclosed this in its audited financial results released on Friday. 

According to the company, since December 2023 when NCC issued an industry-wide directive requiring full barring of subscriber lines not linked to their NIN, it had subjected a total of 19 million lines to verification. 

Out of these, it said 4.3 million have been verified and 4.2 million disconnected as of 28 February 2024. 

The company, however, noted that the disconnected lines would not affect its revenue as the users were of low value.  

Commenting on the company’s performance in 2023, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, said the company maintained strong commercial momentum in its connectivity business and platforms, supported by the growth in the user base.  

According to a directive issued by the NCC in December last year, all telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others are to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024. 

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred.  

On NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN.

Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024. 

According to the directive, all affected subscribers must be verified (biometrics and biodata) before their lines are unbarred.