Subscribers Voice Frustration as Phone Lines Get Barred Due to NIN-SIM Linkage


Subscribers Voice Frustration as Phone Lines Get Barred Due to NIN-SIM Linkage

Some telecommunications subscribers in Nigeria are expressing frustration as their phone lines are being barred by telcos, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, despite completing the National Identification Number (NIN)-SIM linkage process.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed telcos to implement full network barring on phone lines without submitted or verified NINs by February 28, 2024. However, subscribers report disconnections even before the deadline.

Read Also: Telecom Operators Set Deadline for Subscribers’ NIN Compliance; Impending Disconnection Looms

During visits to telcos’ customer service centers in Lagos, subscribers complained about barred lines, particularly at MTN outlets. They insist that they have linked their NINs to their SIM cards as instructed by the NCC. Some argue that they completed the NIN-SIM linkage as early as 2020.

The disconnection issue extends to various telcos, with Airtel and Globacom subscribers reporting similar problems. Telco agents suggest that discrepancies in the data filed for NIN compared to SIM registration data might be causing the disconnects.

In response, Funsho Aina, Senior Manager at MTN, explains that most barred lines lack data, possibly due to inconsistencies in the names used for NIN and SIM registration. Aina encourages subscribers to create a Virtual NIN (VNIN) through the portal or dialing specific codes.

Read Also: ALTON agrees to adhere to the FG’s SIM-NIN linkage directive

He urged subscribers to go to the portal: to create a Virtual NIN (VNIN).

“You can also dial *996*3# on your mobile phone.
“Select option three for Virtual NIN, Enter your NIN to proceed, then enter ‘109071’ as your Enterprise ID.
“Or alternatively, dial *346*3*your 11-digit NIN*109071# to create a VNIN”

While acknowledging the disconnection issues, Aina attributes the higher impact on MTN subscribers to the telco’s larger user base.

Read Also: FG Directs Telcos to Ban Outgoing Calls on Unlinked Lines Due to NIN-SIM Linkage


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