In 2016, Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN had been fined $3.9 billion in Nigeria, its biggest market by sales, for failing to disconnect users of unregistered SIM cards.
“Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines,” the minister said in the statement. Affected individuals will need to register for their NINs at designated centers in order to link the NINs to their SIMs through the channels provided by NIMC and the Telcos, including the NIMC mobile App.
The move had been delayed on multiple occasions after pleas from the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), civil groups and other professional bodies. This comes at time when the country is faced with growing insecurity.