He gave the order in a statement issued by the Ministerial Committee on 4th March 2022. On the implementation of the national policy on SIM/NIN linkage
cosigned by Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami in the statement said:
“President Buhari has approved the implementation of the Policy with effect from the 4th of April, 2022. Consequently, the Federal Government has directed all Telcos to strictly enforce the Policy on all SIMs issued (existing and new) in Nigeria. Outgoing calls will subsequently be barred for telephone lines that have not complied with the NIN-SIM linkage Policy from the 4th of April, 2022. Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines. Affected individuals are hereby advised to register for their NINs at designated centers and thereafter link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.”
The Minister, said before the President gave the order for the suspension of lines, sims not linked to NIN, he had graciously extended the deadline severally.
“Accordingly, President Buhari graciously approved the many requests to extend deadlines for the NIN-SIM linkage. At this point however, Government has determined that the NIN-SIM Policy implementation can proceed, as machinery has already been put in place to ensure compliance by citizens and legal residents. The implementation impacts on Government’s strategic planning, particularly in the areas of security and socio-economic projections,” the Minister explained.
According to the Minister 125 million lines have so far been linked to NIN.
“As of date, over 125 Million SIMs have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication. Similarly, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has issued over 78 Million unique NINs till date.”According to the Minister, NIN remains a precondition for official transactions.
“The Minister also emphasized that enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, Nigerian Immigration Service, and for several other government services. He also encouraged Nigerians and legal residents to visit NIN registration centers for the enrollment and issuance of valid NINs,” the statement read.