NCC Directs Telecom Operators to Disconnect Telephone Lines Without NIN

NCC Directs Telecom Operators to Disconnect Telephone Lines Without NIN

•Subscribers throng NIMC, telcos’ offices

•MainOne berths 2Africa submarine cable in Akwa Ibom

John Shiklam  in Kaduna and Emma Okonji in Lagos

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has directed  telecom operators to bar telephone lines of subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers (NINs) on or before February 28, 2024.

Executive Chairman of the commission, Dr. Aminu Maida, stated this while speaking at the “NCC special day”,  at the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).

He said as a matter of critical national security, telecom consumers must link their telephone sims to their NIN.

Represented at the occasion by Reuben Mouka, the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Maida said, a robust regulatory framework has been established to promote transparency, quality services and fair competition as well as setting up channels for consumers to resolve disputes.

According to him, the NCC, as  a regulator of the telecom sector in the country, carries out its functions to ensure service availability, accessibabe affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities.

“It may interest you to know that as of 2023, the telecoms industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP stood at 13.5% (Source – Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023-A publication of the National Bureau of Statistics).

“Conversely, as we promote economic growth through development of local content, we must also address the challenges faced by consumers and NCC is committed to protecting their rights while ensuring their satisfaction.

“We therefore encourage businesses and service providers to prioritise customer satisfaction and uphold the highest standards of service delivery,” Maida said.

Meanwhile, telecoms subscribers, yesterday, thronged the offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and that of telecoms operators nationwide to either register NIN or revalidate their SIM-NIN linkage, following the commencement of total disconnection of SIM cards not properly registered, or linked to NIN.

THISDAY went round some of the offices in Lagos, yesterday and saw a large crowd of telecoms subscribers,who were looking frustrated because their SIM cards hadbeen barred from both receiving calls and making calls.

In a related development, MainOne, an Equinix Company, has announced its pivotal role in the historic landing of the first submarine cable system in Akwa Ibom State, outside of Lagos State, where other submarine cables have landed. 

The collaboration marked a significant milestone in enhancing broadband connectivity and driving economic development in the South-south, and South-east and North-central.

Spanning 45,000km in length, 2Africa will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects and will interconnect Europe, Asia, and Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps.

The significance of 2Africa lies in its capacity to address critical internet needs and enhance reliability across vast expanses of Africa.

Furthermore, 2Africa serves as a catalyst for the advancement of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband accessibility, extending its impact to billions of people.

Akwa Ibom’s selection as a landing site underscored its strategic importance in Nigeria’s digital transformation journey.

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