The government-ordered crackdown targeting those who have not yet connected their phone lines to National Identity Numbers began on a shaky note on Tuesday, when many phone lines already linked to NINs were banned by phone companies on Tuesday.
Many subscribers expressed their dissatisfaction both offline and online after discovering that they were unable to make calls despite connecting their telephone lines to their NINs. Some of those who had not connected were still making calls.
Following several extensions of deadlines, the federal government on Monday ordered telecommunications companies to prevent lines that have not yet been connected to NINs from reaching out.
Although the administration claims that the move will improve security, critics argue that a lack of political will may prevent police from putting the policy into action to apprehend terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits.
A number of users, who claimed to have linked their phone numbers, said that they were unable to make calls starting in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
“I’m not sure what to make of this. Why is my line being restricted after I had linked it to NIN more than a year ago? Who is to blame in this situation? Who bears the brunt of the consequences of a failure to perform a duty? What is it about our country that makes us have to go through all of this trouble? Why?” I.G Onyekachi, a Twitter user, shared his thoughts.
“Dear Sir/Madame, I have linked my NIN with my glo sim a long time ago, and I have been unable to make calls since the morning.
“Could you please assist me in rectifying this?” another person inquired.
On April 4, the federal government issued a directive to telephone service providers ordering them to disconnect phone numbers that had not yet been linked to NINs.
The directive came after the administration extended the deadline for the tenth time on March 31, according to official figures. The registration period began in December 2020.
Customers were notified by text message from the service providers that the directive will take effect soon after being received.
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“Yello! Following the decision to prohibit the use of SIM cards that are not linked to NIN. Your phone number has been blocked from making outgoing calls or sending SMS messages. Reconnecting is as simple by dialing *785# and linking your NIN. “To register for NIN, just visit any MTN shop,” according to an MTN message.
“Dear Customer, Thank you for your business.” Since your NIN was not in compliance, you have been prohibited from making calls as directed by the federal government on your line. Please provide your NIN by dialing *109# or by calling the number 109 right now to continue to benefit from the program. “Thank you for making Glo your choice,” says a message from the company.
The Reaction of the Authorities
Premium Times spoke with Toni Kan, the head of public relations at Glo Technologies. He stated the company was following the government’s directive.
“I just want to be clear so that I don’t get misquoted. No one has been prevented from making calls by Glo. “We are merely complying with a governmental rule regarding unlinked SIMs, as are all telecommunications companies,” he explained.
A NIN will not be associated with any phone number that is used on the Glo network, according to the company. If someone believes they have been prohibited, they should visit a Glo customer service center, where the issue will be remedied,” he continued.
MTN expressed its regrets to the impacted customers and asked individuals who claimed their lines had been restricted despite being linked to their NINs to send in their numbers so that the situation could be rectified.
Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), represented by Ikechukwu Adinde and Kayode Adegoke, did not return mails and phone calls.
Another insider (who did not want to be identified) stated that the complaints were widespread across the business and that it will take a few days to resolve them.