Why some SIM cards previously linked to NIN were barred – NCC

  • NGX Group shares N1.5bn to shareholders, declares N5.2bn profit

The Nigerian Communications Commission has given reasons why the agency barred the mobile lines of some telecommunications subscribers who previously linked their SIM cards to their National Identification Numbers.

NCC spokesperson, Reuben Muoka, who gave the explanation on Monday, said “people who probably didn’t get a cleared or verified NIN” have been barred because “the earlier ones they submitted were not good.”

According to him, some SIM cards have verification and identification issues like disparity in information such as names and other data.

“There are still some subscribers whose NINs are yet to be verified by NIMC and those have to also be corrected.

“For now, it requires those physical visits to the stations to get it verified and validated but in the future, we hope that this will be done virtually,” the NCC spokesman said.

The NCC had last week issued a directive to telecom service providers to bar subscribers who have failed to link their phone numbers to their NIN on or before February 28, 2024.

As of December 2023, Nigeria has over 224 million subscribers, according to data by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

MTN boasts of over 87 million subscribers, representing 38.79% of the total market share, the highest in the country by any licensed Mobile Network Operator.

Globacom and Airtel have 61 million subscribers each while 9mobile has 13.9 million users.

Millions of lines were barred last week at the expiration of the deadline but the regulator’s spokesman said the NCC has been going through one deadline after the other since 2022 “to give extension for convenience but it is time to get to a closure.”

“Take it that everybody who has not submitted his NIN to the service providers has been barred. Actually, the service providers are starting to bar people many days before the deadline,” he said.

Muoka, however, said it will be difficult to tell the actual number of phone lines that have been barred but the NCC will do an audit before the end of the week as data is expected from service providers.

He said the NIN-SIM linkage has an objective which is to make Nigerians have digital identity to tackle security matters.

“The whole essence is actually to achieve the convenience that digital services and products will offer. By the time you have your identity together; you will be able to attend to a number of things. Even the banks are now asking their customers to link their NINs to their Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs). It is actually to make a holistic package of all your digital services,” he stated.

NGX Group shares N1.5bn to shareholders, declares N5.2bn profit

The shareholders of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc will get N1.5 billion as dividends from their investment for the financial year ended December 31, 2023.

The Group announced its full-year Audited Financial Statements, with a profit after tax of N5.2 billion.

The Group experienced a surge in gross earnings, rising by 57.4 percent to N11.8 billion in FY 2023 from N7.5 billion in FY 2022. This growth was attributed to performances in core revenue and other income segments. Notably, transaction fees rose by 52.6 percent, driven by increased trading activities, while listing fees and rental income increased by 42.2 percent and 41.8 percent, respectively. Strategic investments also contributed to a 5.4 percent boost in treasury investment income.

Other incomes, representing 29.7 percent of gross earnings, witnessed an unprecedented rise of 163.6 percent, reaching N3.504 billion. Key contributors to this surge were market data income, which increased by 44.1 percent, and an exceptional 304.8 percent rise in other operating income.

In light of the robust operational performance, the Board approved a final dividend of N1.5 billion at 75 Kobo per share for the year ended 31st December 2023. This is in addition to an interim dividend of N495.53 million at 25 Kobo per share paid in August 2023, bringing the total dividend for FY 2023 to N1 per share.

Commenting on the dividend, the Group Chairman, NGX Group, Umaru Kwairanga, expressed profound satisfaction and optimism, stating, “Today’s announcement of both the financial results and dividend pay-out is a testament to NGX Group’s unwavering commitment to maximising shareholder value and the resilience of our financial position. We are elated to reward our shareholders, and this underscores our confidence in the sustainable growth of the Company. I would like to reassure all stakeholders that the Board and Management are focused on positioning NGX Group as the premier financial market infrastructure in Africa.”

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group, Temi Popoola, echoed this sentiment, expressing satisfaction with the Company’s operational performance. “I am pleased with the significant improvement in NGX Group’s operational performance. We have witnessed notable increases in transaction and listing fees, as well as in rental and treasury investment income. Our strategic focus on technology income and other streams, along with strong capital allocation, has led to a notable increase in return on equity to 13.8 percent. NGX Group is poised to continue its trajectory of growth, innovation, and value creation for its stakeholders in the upcoming fiscal year.”

NGX Group’s financial metrics highlight a substantial turnaround and operational success. Operating profit reversed from a loss to a gain of N433 million, a 130.2 percent improvement, reflecting operational efficiency and profitability transformation. Profit before income tax skyrocketed by 639 percent, reaching N5.27 billion, driven by strong revenue performance and optimised cost management. This was capped by a 788 percent surge in after-tax profit to N5.25 billion, with an improved profit after tax margin of 44.49 percent, showcasing the Group’s financial health and earnings quality.