THE Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and Airtel have reported that 9.7 million of their subscribers have been barred from making outgoing calls due to their inability to verify their National Identification Numbers (NIN).
The telecommunication companies revealed this in their recent earnings reports.
According to the report, just 6.5 million NINs of the 16.2 million users whose lines were banned have been validated by September 30, 2022.
Following a Federal government regulation about users who had not connected their SIMs to their NINs, more than 72.77 million GSM lines were prohibited from placing calls on their SIMs in April.
According to the directive, President Muhammadu Buhari had given his approval for the policy to go into force on April 4, 2022.
The statement read, “Consequently, the Federal Government has directed all telcos to strictly enforce the policy on all SIMs issued (existing and new) in Nigeria.”
19 million and 13.6 million subscribers, respectively, were impacted by the ban, according to MTN and Airtel. The operators added that the policy’s adoption had an impact on their revenue.
According to Airtel, 13.6 million subscribers’ access to voice services was terminated in April 2022 because NIN information was not provided.
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.