“NCC Warns Over 40 Million Barred Phone Lines Face Forfeiture for Failing to Link NIN-SIM”


By Milcah Tanimiu

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning that more than 40 million telephone lines face forfeiture for failing to link to the National Identity Numbers (NIN). The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka, revealed this during an interview with PUNCH Online, stating that the barred lines, which missed the February 28, 2024, deadline, risk being forfeited if not addressed within the next 180 days.

Mouka explained that initially, the barred lines would only be able to send text messages and make calls, but if not addressed within the stipulated 180 days, they would also be barred from making calls. Ultimately, these lines might be forfeited to their respective service providers within 365 days.

To assist subscribers in unblocking their phone lines, PUNCH Online provided guidance based on the NCC’s Director of Publicity’s explanation:

  1. For subscribers without registered NIN, register your SIM at accredited centers nationwide.
  2. Link your NIN with your SIM through the channels provided by your service provider.
  3. Subscribers with registered NINs should visit their service provider centers and either present the NIN or link the SIM through provided channels.

Additionally, PUNCH Online outlined the steps for NIN retrieval:

  1. Dial a designated USSD code (*785# for MTN customers).
  2. Choose “NIN Retrieval” by typing ‘1’ if using the same enrolled phone number.
  3. Follow on-screen instructions and provide necessary inputs.
  4. A nominal fee of N20 will be deducted from the phone airtime balance for using this service.

Alternatively, Mobile Network Operators have provided specific USSD codes for quick NIN-SIM linkage:

  • For MTN customers: Dial *785# or *785*Your NIN# for automatic linkage.

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