NIN-SIM linkage: SERAP mulls legal action over barring of ’72 million’ subscribers

John Ogunsemore
2 Min Read

The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) says it is considering taking legal action against the Federal Government over the barring of 72 million telecom subscribers that have yet to synchronise their SIM cards with the National Identity Number (NIN).

SERAP made this known in a Wednesday tweet.

On Monday, no fewer than 72.77 million active telecommunication subscribers were affected when the Federal Government ordered telecommunications companies to enforce compliance with its NIN-SIM linkage policy by restricting outgoing calls on all unlinked lines as the deadline for the verification expired on March 31.

Giving the directive, the government revealed that 125 million SIMs had submitted their NINs for linkage, just as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed that there were 197.77 million active telecom subscribers as of February 2022.

As the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) on Tuesday said its members would comply with FG’s directive, this means 72.77 million active telecom subscribers would be disconnected.

On the same day, it was learnt that many telecom subscribers that had been affected by the restriction thronged telecoms service centres to link their NIN with their SIM but could not do so due to the massive crowd at the centres.

In a reaction, SERAP warned against the impact such large-scale restriction would have on the economy.

“BREAKING: NIN-SIM: Blocking 72 million subscribers from making calls will directly impact the ability of people to exercise their right to freedom of expression and access to information.

“There are concerns about the legality of the exercise. We’re considering our legal options,” the group tweeted.

See tweet:

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I'm a University of Lagos-trained journalist. I've read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. I'm an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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