63.97 Million Phone Lines Have Been Severed As A Result Of The SIM–NIN Connectivity – NCC
According to data acquired from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), 63.97 million lines were disconnected in a year during the National Identity Number-Subscriber Identity Module data verification.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that according to NCC data, the total number of connected lines in the country declined by 21.79 percent from October 2020 to 229,582,206 in October this year.
The largest number of connected lines (328,114,538) and lowest number (328,114,538) were recorded in August 2021 and September 2021, respectively (229,467,077).
The number of active lines decreased by 7.69% from 207,578,237 in October 2020 to 191,618,839 in October 2021. (15,959,398).
According to the FCC, as of October 2021, 37,963,367 linked lines were idle, down from 85,976,361 the previous month.
Telecommunication companies in the country have been losing subscribers since the Federal Government began the linking of NIN with SIM cards.
“Mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations,” MTN Nigeria Communications Plc had said in its half-year financial statements.
According to the company, it is actively in support of the government’s NIN enrolment programme.
Airtel, in its quarterly financial statements, had said, “New customer acquisitions were barred until significant progress had been made on linking the active customer base with verified NINs.
“Natural churn in the customer base led to a loss of two million active mobile customers in Nigeria in the first quarter of the year (following on from 2.5 million customer loss in the final quarter of the year to 31 March 2021).”
Industry experts have also blamed the fall in the number of lines on the SIM-NIN policy.
The Nigeria National Coordinator for the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Olusola Teniola, recently told The PUNCH, “The impact of the SIM-NIN policy will slow down growth. The NIN requirement will slow down the ability to register SIMs legally, which will affect contribution to NIN, because not every Nigerian has NIN.”
The Federal Government halted the sale and registration of new SIM cards in December 2020, giving consumers 30 days to link their NIN to their SIM cards. Since then, the FG has extended the exercise until the end of 2021.
The overall number of connected lines was 300,042,650, and the total number of active lines was 204,228,678 when the government stopped the sale and registration of SIM cards.
The SIM-NIN strategy, according to the administration, is vital to boost security in the country and track down suspects.