The Federal government, through the NCC has given 2 weeks ultimatum for us to ensure that all phone numbers in Nigeria have a NIN (National ID Number attached).
Well, that was initially. The new deadline has been changed to “Six (6) weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from 30th December, 2020 to 9th February, 2021.”
In all fairness, this requirement had been gazetted since 2017 in the “Mandatory Use of the National Identification Number (NIN) Regulations of 2017”, but we all ignored it. So, it’s actually been a 3 year time grace that the government gave us. The requirement would help us all to secure our country better.
Below are 10 things to note about the new NCC directive
1. If your phone number is not linked to Your NIN by 9th of February 2021, your line would be blocked!
2. For those who already have a NIN, You can get your NIN by dialing *346# from the phone number you supplied during your NIN registration. The service costs 20 naira. You may then choose to save the NIN on your phone so that you don’t have to pay again forever.
3. You actually no longer need a physical National I.D card, what you need is just to have your NIN (which is just the number). This is the new trajectory of the government. Remember that for BVN, most people also don’t have a card.
4. If you already have a BVN, you may already likely have a NIN even if you have never physically gone to register for a NIN (especially if your BVN starts with 221 or 222), this has been made possible because of the great collaboration between NIMC (National Identity Management Commission) and NIBSS (Nigeria Interbank Settlement System)PLC. You may be able to ask your bank to confirm for you. As a matter of fact, for those who use GTB, you can log into your account online or the bank app to check for your NIN by yourself (please note that this is not an advert for any bank).
5. NIMC has now licensed over 150 companies/entities that can carry out NIN enrollment all over the Country, so NIN enrollment would be faster now, unlike when it was only NIMC carrying out the enrollment. This is called the “Ecosystem Approach”.
6. Yes, You can tie your single NIN to all your phone numbers. Same way you tied ur single BVN to all your account numbers.
7. To link your NIN to your MTN number, all you need to do is dial *785#. For those who are in diaspora (and so can’t dial the USSD), you can use the URL https://mtnonline.com/nim/ .
We await the ussd codes and URLs of the other telcos for their own sim linkage.
8. If the phone number you used for the NIN registration has changed or is missing, you need to update your record with NIMC. The update costs you only 500 naira.
9. Your submitted NIN would be validated. If your data with the Telco doesn’t match with your NIN data, you would have to sort that out while your sim may be temporarily disabled.
10. Sale of new SIMs have been suspended till further notice, so no one can purchase any new SIM for now.
The strategy of GTB in number 4 above can be deployed by other banks to cater for people in Diaspora so that our diasporans can know what their generated NINs are (again, no adverts intended).
The Telcos and NCC need to think about how to handle issues of churned (reassigned) SIMS. I trust this is already in their radar.
This move by the NCC may cause us slight discomfort, but it’s something we should all support and commit to, for our own safety and security.