Airtel Nigeria, in its last financial report, lamented over a 7% decline in revenue since the Nigerian government ordered an action against unlinked NIN-Sim cards in the country. 

Driving the news 
Airtel Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s top telecommunication operators, reported that of its 44.4 million active users, only 35.9 million users had linked their SIM cards with their unique NIN, placing 8.5 million with a receive only status. 

  • The telecommunication giant, since the directive by the federal government on the 4th of April 2022, has experienced a 7% decline in the total revenue generated from Nigeria and 3% decline in the Group’s total revenue.

In case you missed it 

  • The federal government directed all mobile service users in Nigeria to link their National Identification Number (NIN), to their SIM cards in 2020 to help security agencies in the country fight crimes. 
  • Following the postponement of the deadline for over 8 times, the Nigerian government decided to take action against defaulters and bar outgoing calls on these SIM cards. In order words, they can receive calls on their lines but can’t make calls. 

Other statistics 

  • Airtel Nigeria also generated N304 billion or $734 million from data consumption between April 2021 and March 2022, showing a 41.1% growth rate in comparison with N227.4 billion or $549 million the company generated from April 2020 to March 2021. 
  • Data usage by customers grew from 2.8GB per month in the previous year to 4.0GB per month this year.

Government policy 
This is not the first time in recent years a government policy is affecting the revenue of telecommunication companies in Nigeria. In December 2020, the federal government ordered mobile telecoms operators to suspend the sales, activation and registration of SIM cards. This dipped the revenue generated by mobile operators until the first quarter of 2021.

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