THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday assured telephone subscribers that the timeline for ongoing linkage of subscriber identity modules (SIMs) with National Identity Numbers (NIN) is subject to review as the exercise progresses.
It said the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has assured that the government will continue to review the exercise in the light of experiences to ensure its smooth implementation.
Its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, also allayed fears of mass deactivation of SIMs by service providers.
He said: ‘The attention of the NCC has been drawn to numerous publications in both print and electronic media regarding the unfounded fears of mass disconnection of telephone subscribers as a result of the ongoing linkage of SIM Registration Records with NIN. Most of these publications are based on the erroneous assumption that for every network or SIM connection, there is one unique human subscriber.
“However, with the advent of social media and app-driven digital environment, network subscription went beyond human subscribers to include machines like PoS, routers, Wi-Fi devices, electricity meters, CCTV, tracking devices and others.”
According to him, a recent survey conducted in the country showed that on average, there are now approximately between four and five SIMs to every human subscriber. This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to seven SIMs to one unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal.
Therefore, he said if there are 43 million Nigerians with NINs, this could account for about 172 million SIMs already linked to NINs.
“It is very important to emphasise that the current exercise of linking NIN to SIM(s) is for the common good of all Nigerians, as it has far reaching benefits.
“Apart from enhancing our general safety, this will help in such vital exercises like national budgeting, policy planning, social intervention programmes and many more,” Adinde explained.