NCC Directs MTN, Glo, Other Networks to Start Blocking SIM Cards

The National Communication Commission (NCC) has directed telecom operators in Nigeria to disconnect telephone subscribers who have not linked their National Identification Numbers (NIN) by February 28, 2024.

This directive was further reiterated today by the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr Aminu Maida.

Maida, who spoke during the NCC’s Special Day at the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Wednesday (today), stressed the importance of linking NIN to SIM cards for critical national security.

Represented by the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Reuben Mouka, Maida also confirmed that the deadline of February 28th remains in effect for telecom operators to disconnect subscribers who had not linked their NIN to their SIM cards.

“To this end, the National Communication Commission has directed all telecommunication operators to bar phone lines of subscribers whose lines are not linked to their NINs on or before February 28, 2024,” he added.

The NCC executive vice chairman emphasized that this was appropriate because the theme aligned with the commission’s principles and goals of advancing local content development in the telecommunications industry.

Maida further expressed the NCC’s dedication to safeguarding consumers’ rights and ensuring their contentment.

He highlighted that the commission had established a universally recognized environment that enabled affordable and fair services, contributing to the nation’s economic progress.

“As a regulator of the telecommunications sector in the country, the Commission carries out its functions to ensure service availability, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities,” Maida said.

He observed that the Telecom Consumer Assistance, Resolution and Enquiries (TELCARE) Desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja was set up to further provide an additional platform to make enquiries on customer issues, receive and facilitate the resolution of telecom consumer complaints. He elaborated that through collaboration, a more dynamic telecommunications sector can be established, leading to a substantial impact on economic revitalization and expansion.

According to NCC boss, 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 the 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,” the NCC boss noted.

The chief of the NCC importance for telecom companies to give utmost importance to customer satisfaction and maintain the highest level of service quality.

He highlighted that the commission had taken steps to protect the interests of both consumers and businesses.

According to Maida, one of these steps was the NCC’s instruction on May 17, 2023, which required all licensed Mobile Network Operators to start using approved Harmonised Short Codes for offering services to Nigerian telecom consumers.

“The new initiative is enabling consumers using the over 224 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks,” he added.

The NCC chief executive revealed that by 2023, the telecommunications sector accounted for 13.5 percent of the country’s GDP, as stated in the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report November 2023, published by the National Bureau of Statistics.