SIM-NIN: Deactivated subscribers storm telecom outlets, queues mount
Some telecommunication subscribers were left stranded on Tuesday after telecom companies barred their lines from making calls following a directive from the Federal Government.
The Federal Government had on Monday directed telecom companies to enforce compliance with its National Identification Number-Subscriber Identity Module policy by blocking outgoing calls on all unlinked lines after the deadline for the SIM-NIN verification expired on March 31.
While giving the directive, the government revealed that 125 million SIMs had submitted their NINs for linkage.
The Nigerian Communications Commission stated that there were 197.77 million active telecom subscribers as of February 2022.
This means that over 72.77 million active telecom subscribers will be affected by the government directive after the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria confirmed that its members would comply with the directive.
In a statement on Monday, it said, “ALTON members are committed to complying with the instructions and call on telecommunication subscribers who have not obtained and/or linked a NIN to their SIMs, to do so at any of the designated centres.”
On Tuesday, many subscribers woke up to an inability to make calls on their lines.
Checks by our correspondent on Tuesday revealed that subscribers have started visiting telecom service centres in droves to link their NIN to their SIMs.
At the Ojodu centre of MTN, representatives of the company were seen trying to help subscribers link their SIMs despite a server downtime.
One subscriber said, “I woke up and I couldn’t make calls. I have not been able to reach my clients whose orders I have to fulfil, and this is really affecting me.”
“I have tried to link my SIM to my NIN with the code, but it is not going through.”
Many of the subscribers at the centres corroborated this. According to some of them, they have been trying to reach their family members and busin