The Federal Government has said millions of mobile telephone lines barred by telecom operators last week will not be unblocked until their owners’ National Identity Numbers (NINs) are linked.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wishes to officially inform telecoms consumers, whose Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are barred from making calls, that affected SIMs will not be unbarred by the service providers until they are linked with the National Identification Numbers (NINs) of the SIM holders”, the statement said.
NCC said the information had become necessary in view of a viral web link (https://bit.ly/NCC-Sim-Unbar-Gov-Ng) being circulated on social media and on some websites.
The commission said the link and the accompanying narrative represented patent misinformation and disinformation certainly designed to mislead the general public about the SIM cards barred from making calls, due to non-linkage with NIN at the set deadline.
It said, “The misleading, viral message mischievously displays NCC logo and ostensibly promises members of the public that by clicking the web link and following further instructions in that regard, subscribers with barred SIM cards can unbar such SIMs across mobile networks without a valid NIN.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the NCC wishes to state categorically that it never issued such statement, directing subscribers or indicating that subscribers can unbar their SIM without a NIN. As such, the originators and peddlers of the spurious message were out to mischievously mislead unsuspecting members of the public and should therefore be disregarded in its entirety.”
Meanwhile, NCC has said for subscribers that have not registered for their NINs, what to do is to get their SIM registered at accredited centres across the country and then link the NIN with their SIM cards through channels provided by their service providers.
It added, “The NCC, therefore, uses this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM link to among others, strengthen security situation in the country, assist in other socio-economic planning activities of the government as well as to always advance the course of consumer protection from falling victim to the antics of cyber fraudsters.”