FG orders telecom operators to block subscribers without NIN from March 2024

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  • Investors gain N35.7bn as NGX sustains bullish run

BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, ABUJA

The Federal Government has directed telecommunication operators in Nigeria to disconnect all subscribers who failed to submit their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024.

Similarly, subscribers whose NINs are unverified would on or before the expiration of the date have their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) barred and unable to access the telecoms services.

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc disclosed these in a notification sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday, stating that the directive was handed down to it by the telecom industry regulator, the Nigerian Communication Commission.

The communication giant applauded the renewed efforts by the Federal Government to implement a reliable and sustainable National Identity Management system, noting that it is a crucial enabler for national and economic development.

The statement signed by MTN Nigeria Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, also disclosed that where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before April 15, 2024.

The notification reads in part: “MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (“MTN Nigeria” or the “Company”) hereby notifies the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public that the Company received a formal directive from the NCC to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identity numbers (NINs) and those whose NINs are unverified.

“This is part of an industry-wide directive that requires phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their NINs to be barred on or before 28 February 2024. With regard to NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN.

“Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024. All affected subscribers must be verified (biometrics and biodata) before their lines are unbarred.”

According to the statement, the new directive is a follow-up to the NCC’s directive on April 4, 2022 requiring operators to restrict outgoing calls (one-way barring) for subscribers whose lines are not associated with NINs. We are further engaging the affected subscribers through all our channels to encourage them to submit their NINs for verification.“

While expressing commitment to comply with the directive and calling on their customers to adhere to their NINs in order not to be disconnected, MTN Nigeria, promised to enhance capacity of its service centers to effortlessly register their NINs.

“As part of these efforts, we are enhancing the capacity of our various service outlets to make the process smoother and more efficient. We are committed to ensuring that our subscribers comply with the NCC directive and will continue to work with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to accelerate the NIN verification process.

“We appreciate the effort being made by the Federal Government to implement a reliable and sustainable National Identity Management system, which is a crucial enabler for national and economic development. Therefore, as a law-abiding corporate citizen and in line with our operating licence requirements, we are committed to complying with the industry-wide directive from the NCC and will provide further updates to investors on progress and potential impact with the release of FY 2023 results.

“We urge all our subscribers who have not yet linked their NIN to their lines to take immediate action by visiting the nearest MTN outlet or using any of our digital channels before the deadlines. Those without a NIN should visit any of the NIMC’s enrolment centers nationwide to enroll for NIN.”

Investors gain N35.7bn as NGX sustains bullish run

Meanwhile, trading on equities in the Nigerian capital market extended its bullish runs gaining streak as the All-Share Index witnessed another upward trajectory of 0.09 percent to 72,470.10 points at the close of Tuesdays’ session.

Gains in the share price of telco giant, MTNN which appreciated by 0.61 percent, Tier 1 banks namely ZENITHBANK and GTCO up by 1.75 percent and 0.25 percent respectively where the main drivers of the market’s overall performance, outweighing losses in STANBIC, FBNH and NB whose share prices depleted by 9.08 percent, 0.43 percent and 5.01 percent respectively.

At the close of trading, investors recorded total gains of N35.7 billion, as the year-to-date gain of the index inched further to 41.40 percent, even as the Exchange accounted for more advancing stocks (36) than declining stocks (13).

However, the major tickers for investors on Tuesday include stocks such as INFINITY, CAVERTON, NNFM, RT BRISCOE and TIP as they experienced appreciable share price movements of 10.00 percent, 10.00 percent, 9.42 percent, 9.09 percent and 8.26 percent, respectively.

The displayed bullish trading activity on the NGX cumulated in the total deals, volume and value increased by 1.85 percent, 26.82 percent and 58.02 percent to 6,870 trades, 411.21 million units and N6.95 billion, respectively.

Sector performance equally remained bullish as the NGX Banking, NGX Insurance and NGX Industrial Goods indexes rose by 1.89 percent, 0.40 percent and 0.22 percent, respectively. On the flipside, the Consumer Goods index declined by 0.22 percent, while the Oil/Gas sector held steady from the previous session.

At the conclusion of the trading session, UPDC REIT emerged as the most traded stock in terms of volume with 42.03 million units worth N187.03 million across 50 trades, while GTCO was the most traded in terms of value amounting to N902.20 million.