MTN, Airtel bar 9.7 million subscribers over NIN

THE Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and Airtel have reported they ha 9.7 million of their subscribers have been barred from making outgoing calls over their inability to verify their National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The telecommunication companies disclosed in their recent earnings reports.

The report stated that 16.2 million subscribers whose lines were barred had submitted their NINs for verification, but only 6.5 million had been verified by September 30, 2022.


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In April, over 72.77 million GSM lines were barred from making calls on their SIM, following a directive from the Federal government as regards subscribers that had not linked their SIMs to their NINs.

The directive said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the implementation of the policy with effect from April 4, 2022.



    “Consequently, the Federal Government has directed all telcos to strictly enforce the policy on all SIMs issued (existing and new) in Nigeria,” it stated.

    According to MTN and Airtel, 19 million and 13.6 million subscribers respectively were affected by the ban. The telcos further stated that the implementation of the policy affected their revenues.

    Airtel said, “In April 2022, the voice services for 13.6 million customers were barred due to non-submission of NIN information.

    “As of September 2022, 5.7 million customers (42 per cent) have subsequently submitted their NINs and 2.7 million customers (20 per cent) have been fully verified and unbarred. Revenue growth for the first half of the year was impacted by the effect of barring outgoing voice calls in Nigeria for those customers who had not submitted their NINs.”

    Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in society. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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