The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has ordered Nigerian Telecoms to bar outgoing calls by customers with unlinked NIN sim cards. 

What’s happening 
This policy, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, ensures that they restrict telecoms users in Nigeria with unlinked NIN sim cards from placing outgoing calls. After several calls by the FG to complete the process, and doing a ten times extension on the SIM-NIN li deadlineadline, the Nigerian government is deciding to penalize defaulters. 

Brief background to the story 
The Federal Government in December 2020 initiated the SIM-NIN linkage program which required every Nigerian telecom user to link their sim cards with their unique national identity number, NIN. This directive, according to the government, provides the designated authorities with a database to monitor telecommunications activities, amongst others.

What this means 
The decision to bar outgoing calls on Nigerian telecom customers with unlinked NIN sim cards is the first action the Nigerian government is taking against defaulters. While this directive on one hand would surge the completion on NIN-SIM linkage, Nigerian telecoms on the other hand would yet again suffer profit loss from a government policy. 

By the numbers
Nigerian Telecoms have received NINs from over 125 million sim cards for linkage, verification and authentication. The National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, has issued 78 million unique numbers till date. 

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