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NIMC Partners NCC To Enhance NIN-SIM Linkage

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have announced a strategic collaboration to enhance the National Identification Number-SIM linkage processes.

This was disclosed on Sunday in a joint statement signed by the Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the DG/CEO of NIMC, Ayodele Babalola, and the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Reuben Muoka.

The NIN-SIM linkage exercise has recently become the subject of national discourse, reflecting the critical importance of aligning SIM registrations with individuals’ unique NINs.

Recognising the significance of this initiative in enhancing security and improving service delivery, both commissions said they were committed to improving processes and enhancing efficiency.

Furthermore, the agencies in the partnership prioritise the interests of Nigerians and promote national development.

“By pooling our resources and expertise, we aim to overcome the challenges associated with the NIN-SIM linkage exercise and ensure its continued successful implementation,” the agencies stated.

Under this collaboration, NIMC and NCC focus on the following key areas: streamlining the NIN-SIM linkage process; capacity building and public awareness; data verification and validation; policy harmonisation, and the regulatory framework.

The statement read in part, “NIMC and NCC will collaborate to ensure a seamless experience for Nigerian telecommunication subscribers. This includes exploring innovative approaches to facilitate the swift verification and authentication of NINs during SIM registration and activation processes.

“Both agencies will collaborate on initiatives aimed at enhancing public awareness and understanding of the NIN-SIM linkage requirements. This includes educational campaigns, training sessions for stakeholders, and the dissemination of accurate information to the public to encourage compliance with the linkage directives.

“NIMC will continue to extend its support to NCC by providing assistance in verifying National Identification Numbers (NINs) associated with SIM registrations. Leveraging NIMC’s robust database and authentication infrastructure, telecommunication operators will validate submitted NINs while ensuring the accuracy and integrity of subscriber data.

“NIMC and NCC will collaborate on aligning policies and regulatory frameworks to facilitate the seamless integration of NIN-SIM linkage processes within the telecommunications ecosystem. This includes harmonising data protection and privacy regulations to safeguard the confidentiality and security of subscriber information.”

The NCC had barred an estimated 40 million telephone lines not linked to NIN following the expiration of the 28th of February, 2024, deadline.

In a December 2023 notice, the regulator had asked telcos to bar SIMs that had not been linked to their owners’ NINs by 28th of February, 2024.

MTN Nigeria reported that over 4.2m lines were disconnected from its network after the February 28 deadline given by the NCC.

The NCC had received several backlashes for barring telephone lines not linked to NIN from different societal groups.

Last week, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project threatened to drag the NCC to court if it failed to reverse its directive to telcos to bar telephone lines.

The group, which made the threat in an open letter to the Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida, called for more consultation and the provision of an effective process for Nigerians who are yet to link their SIM cards to their NINs to do so.

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