Telecommunications companies have reported disconnecting over 40 million subscribers who failed to provide their National Identity Numbers (NIN) as part of Nigeria’s Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) and NIN linkage policy.

The total number of active voice subscribers was 224,713,710 in Q4 2023 from 222,571,568 recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022, indicating a growth rate of 0.96%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

RELATED: MTN, Glo, Airtel to disconnect subscribers without SIM-NIN linkage, says ALTON

“I can tell you that over 40 million lines have been blocked, and the affected customers are those who didn’t submit their NINs at all. Some persons have not presented any NIN to operators,” Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, expressed in a statement.

Adding: “They haven’t registered their SIMs or participated in the harmonisation programme. They simply haven’t made any presentation of the NIN number to their operators, and those were the persons blocked. So why is the number so alarming despite repeated warnings? It shows many people still communicate but are not registered.”


Adebayo said this figure marks a significant increase from the initial plan to deactivate 12 million telephone lines.

According to him, the next phase of disconnections will target subscribers who have submitted their NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers linked to their NIN, which have yet to be verified.

His words: “The second tier of disconnections that will happen are those who have provided NIN but have more than five Mobile Subscription Identification Numbers associated with their NIN, and these have not been verified.


“This is because some have differences in the order of their names, and some have differences in their date of birth. The information provided to the operator when they did the SIM registration is different from what they provided (to NIMC) when they did their NIN. Some subscribers also have differences in other records that are critical to their verification process.

“So these people who have more than five MSINs attached to their NIN and haven’t been verified will be disconnected effective March 30, 2024.

“So, we may have more disconnections happening by the end of this month. If somebody has given a name that has not been verified and has been receiving text messages to verify and they haven’t done that, by March 30, those people will be disconnected, and the figures will further increase.”


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