In a recent announcement, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared the end of February 2024 as the new cutoff for deactivating SIM cards not yet linked to National Identity Numbers (NIN).
Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, revealed this information to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, underscoring the imminent implementation of the new deadline.
The mandatory linkage of SIM cards to NIN commenced in December 2020, experiencing several deadline extensions, yet numerous phone lines remain unlinked.
Maida emphasized, ‘By the end of this month, SIMs without NIN will no longer work,’ highlighting the policy’s objective to aid authorities in combating bandits and terrorists who pose threats to innocent lives daily.
However, reflecting on the efficacy of the SIM-NIN connection in addressing insecurity three years later, Maida expressed uncertainty due to the ongoing attacks by terrorists.
The prevalence of pre-registered or illegally registered SIM cards has been a persistent challenge. Despite the 2021 policy to rectify this issue, criticism arose regarding loopholes.
Maida assured a shift towards data-driven decision-making to enhance industry outcomes. He emphasized holding licensees accountable for service delivery and recognizing consumers’ expectations of quality services.
The NCC’s stance underscores a commitment to bolstering security measures while ensuring industry compliance and service excellence.”