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MTN Cut off 4.2 million Subscribers after NIN Linkage Deadline

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Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) has cut off services from 4.2 million users of its network following its refusal to link Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) with National Identity Numbers (NINs) after the February 28th deadline. The firm disclosed this in its Earning Report for the year ended December 31, 2023. It noted that 19 million lines on its network are currently being verified, and 4.3 million have been verified as of February 2024. MTN said, “We also had approximately 4.2 million lines disconnected for which the subscribers did not submit their NIN. Several of these lines were low-value subscribers, minimizing the revenue impact.

“We are actively engaging the authorities to accelerate the NIN verification process. We have also increased our engagement with the affected customers, providing various channels for verification to minimize service disruption.”

The 42.2 million disconnected lines are part of an industry-wide directive requiring telecom operators to bar subscribers whose lines have not been linked to their NIN.

Recall in December 2023, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) requested all telecom operators to implement a full network barring all SIMs for which subscribers have not submitted their NINs and those without verified NINs.

The regulator asked telcos to bar SIMs that have not submitted their NINs by 28 February 2024, bar those whose NINs have been submitted but not verified by 29 March 2024, and bar those who have less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN by 15 April 2024. According to industry sources, about 12 million lines may have been disconnected after the February 28 deadline of the NCC.