Nigeria: Telecom Subscribers Seek Extension of SIM-NIN Linking Deadline, Citing Challenges

Telecom Subscribers Seek Extension of SIM-NIN Linking Deadline, Citing Challenges
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The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the deadline for linking Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards with National Identification Numbers (NINs) beyond the scheduled date of Friday, March 29, 2024.

The association pointed out the difficulties faced by subscribers in completing the registration process due to challenges encountered with telco agents and the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) server.

Adeolu Ogunbanjo, President of NATCOMS, highlighted that telco agents often fail to collect all required information during registration, resulting in incomplete submissions. Additionally, he mentioned network issues hindering the upload of data onto NIMC’s server, further complicating the registration process.

Ogunbanjo emphasized the need for the NCC to address these challenges and acknowledged the complexities of meeting the deadline amidst the current issues faced by subscribers.

Regarding the NIN-SIM linking process, Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, clarified that the commission’s server has remained operational, debunking reports suggesting otherwise. He assured that NIMC’s services are fully functional and accessible to all users.

Adegoke outlined the procedure for linking NINs to SIM cards, stating that individuals only need to submit their NINs and complete the verification process through their respective telecom providers. He encouraged those yet to obtain their NINs to visit any NIMC center for enrollment.

Furthermore, Adegoke assured Nigerians that upon enrollment, individuals can expect their NINs to be available within three hours, with corrections taking up to 72 hours if needed.

In a joint effort to streamline the NIN-SIM linkage procedures, NIMC and the NCC recently announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing efficiency and improving service delivery.

The initiative underscores the importance of bolstering security measures within the telecommunications industry, aligning with the Nigerian government’s directive introduced in December 2020.

Despite these efforts, the recent warning from the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to take legal action against the NCC highlights the ongoing tensions surrounding the SIM-NIN linkage directive.

As the deadline approaches, stakeholders continue to navigate challenges while striving to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and enhance data integrity and security measures.

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