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NCC Issues Warning: Telcos Face Sanctions for Non-Compliance with SIM-NIN Linkage




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its directive for telecommunication companies to block Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards not linked to National Identification Numbers (NIN) and warned of sanctions for non-compliance.


Reuben Mouka, the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, stated that failure to comply with the directive would result in sanctions. He emphasized that the directive is mandatory for all telecom operators.


"We have asked to link the SIM cards to NIN. We have given our directives, and we expect compliance. So, if there is any evidence of non-compliance, what follows would be sanction," Mouka said.


He added that while the timing for implementing sanctions is subject to regulatory processes, any operator failing to comply would face consequences.


The NCC had previously set a deadline of February 28, 2024, for telcos to block lines not linked to NINs. Despite earlier extensions, the NCC has ruled out further extensions, reaffirming its stance on the matter.


Telecom operators, including the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, have indicated their readiness to comply with the directive, noting that about 12 million SIM cards are yet to be linked to NINs.


The SIM-NIN linkage initiative, which began in December 2020, aims to enhance security measures by linking phone numbers to individuals' identities, facilitating easier identification of line owners and tightening security against criminal activities such as kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism.

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