The Mobile Telephone Network and Airtel have reportedly barred 9.7 million of their subscribers from making outgoing calls over their inability to link their National Identification Numbers to their Subscriber Identity Module.
The telecommunication companies disclosed this 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, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting reported, Sunday.
The PUNCH reports that Federal Government had in April barred over 72.77 million active telecommunication subscribers from making calls on their SIMs, following a directive from the Federal Government to telecommunication companies.
The FG ordered telecommunications companies to enforce compliance with its NIN-SIM policy by restricting outgoing calls on all unlinked lines upon expiration of the given deadline.
This directive was contained in a joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke.
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.”