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More than 72 million Nigerians disconnected from making phone calls

  • Over 72 million Nigerians disconnected from making phone calls for failing to link their National Identification numbers (NINs) with their SIM cards.
  • Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami gave the order to deactivate all unlinked SIM cards.
  • Nigeria has a total of 198,127,431 active subscriber lines across network as at February.
  • Of that, 125 million subscribers have submitted their National Identification numbers (NINs).

Many Nigerian consumers are dissatisfied with government orders to cut their lines. Over 72 million Nigerians have lately been prevented from using their phone lines, after a government decision that went into force on April 4.

Because their mobile phones have been disconnected, the affected subscribers are concerned that they would be unable to make outgoing calls.

“It’s a disaster,” Godswill Otokpa, a Subscriber, said. “I can’t make calls but I can receive calls. It’s a mess and the government should try to rectify the situation.”

“It’s a huge letdown, but I believe I’m to blame since I’ve been told several times, I’ve made calls that I’ll be disconnected, and I thought it was a joke, but when I went to make another call, it didn’t go through.” “I came to get it renewed and was told my name had to be reactivated, which I don’t understand,” said Aluka Kingsley, another subscriber.

Telecommunications providers in Nigeria have begun blocking outbound calls from users who have yet to link their national identity number (NIN) to their subscriber identification modules (SIM) cards as a result of the orders.

Nigeria has a total of 198,127,431 active subscriber lines across its network as of February this year, but Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, who issued the order to deactivate all unlinked SIM cards, said that 125 million subscribers had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification, and authentication before the order was issued a few days ago.

Given the total number of 198 million active lines across networks and the 125 million subscribers who have submitted their National Identification numbers (NINs), around 73 million active lines must have been affected by the federal government’s decision.

Jide Ojo, a public affairs analyst, believes that technology should be included into the fight against insecurity, and that national registration is one tool that could aid in the fight.

“So that’s the angle, and it’s to assist combat insecurity.” It also aids in economic planning, because when you look at how many Nigerians are on each network, just like the BVN aids in the battle against economic crimes, the NIN aids in the fight against insecurity and economic planning, since you’ll know who’s using what and how much,” Ojo added.

In a last-ditch effort to finish the linkage, the government asked Nigerians to complete the verification and linking of their NINs to their SIMs within days on April 8.

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