NIN-SIM linkage: Airtel says 8.5 million of its active customers yet to comply

Telecommunications operator, Airtel Nigeria, has said that only 35.9 million out of its 44.4 million active customers had linked their National Identification Number (NIN) with their SIMs as of the end of April this year.

This means that 8.5 million customers of the telco are yet to comply and have been placed on ‘receive only’ status, meaning all their outgoing calls have been barred.

The parent body of the Nigerian operator, Airtel Africa, disclosed this in its financial result for the year ended March 2022. According to the company, the number of its customers that are yet to link their NIN affected its revenue for the year by 7 per cent.

What Airtel is saying

Airtel Africa in its report on the Nigerian operating unit said: “As of the end of April 2022, we have collated NIN information for 35.9 million active customers. Outgoing voice revenues for those active subscribers who have not yet linked their NIN with their SIM amount to around 7% of total revenues from Nigeria, and around 3% of total revenues for the Group.

“However, our experience of adopting similar procedures in other countries suggests that SIM registration is accelerated, and some SIM consolidation is likely to occur in response to implementation, potentially reducing any financial impact.”

“As of the end of the year, Airtel Nigeria had an active customer base of 44.4 million and posted revenue of $1,878m. We continue to work closely with the regulator and impacted customers to help them to comply with the registration requirements, making every effort to minimise disruption and ensure affected customers can continue to benefit from full-service connectivity as soon as possible; in line with our aim to drive increased connectivity and digital inclusion across Nigeria,” the company added.

What you should know

  • The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had on December 7 2020 directed all Nigerian telecom operators to ensure that all their subscribers provide their valid National Identification Numbers (NINs) to update SIM registration records.
  • To complete the registration process, telcos must link the NIN information received with the SIM of the respective subscribers and share the same with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
  • The original regulatory directive set an initial deadline for customers to link their NIN with their SIM by 30 December 2020. This was subsequently moved several times, with the last deadline being 31 March 2022.

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