The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described as unfounded, fears of mass disconnection of telephone subscribers as a result of the ongoing linkage of SIM Registration Records with the National Identity Number (NIN).
Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs, said in a statement on Tuesday that it is necessary for the Commission to issue a clarification in order to allay the fears of subscribers and the general public.
He said most of the publications on the mass disconnections are based on the erroneous assumption that for every network or SIM connection, there is one unique human subscriber.
He said, “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 etc.
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“A recent survey conducted in Nigeria has shown that on average, there are now approximately 4 to 5 SIMs to every human subscriber. This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to 7 SIMs to 1 unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal.”
Adinde said, “Thus, 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 emphasize 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 programs and many more.”
He said the Honourable 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.
NCC, he said calls on its media partners, publishers and reporters to always endeavour to seek clarification from the Commission before going to the press, especially on sensitive issues.