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NIN-SIM linkage: Subscribers Complain of Barred phone Lines

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Some telecommunications subscribers on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the barring of their lines by telcos, despite having linked their National Identification Number (NIN) with their SIM cards.

The subscribers expressed their displeasure in separate interviews in Lagos.

Reports says that telecommunications (Telcos) operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom among others, had been directed by their regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which subscribers had not submitted their NINs and those without verified NINs by February 28, 2024.

The NCC said further that NINs that had been submitted but not verified, such lines were to be barred on or before March 29, 2024, same as in cases 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 April 15, 2024.

In a visit by NAN in Lagos on Tuesday evening to some of the telcos customer service centres, there were subscribers complaining about barred lines at all the telcos outlets, but more at the MTN outlets.

The subscribers were displeased that their lines had been barred from making calls even before the Feb. 28 deadline.

Some of them insisted that they had already linked their NINs to their SIM cards as directed by the NCC, so were surprised that their lines were still barred.

A Businessman, Mr Marcel Okoh, said that a message was sent to his MTN line at the weekend which he did not take serious, because he had done his NIN-SIM linkage.

Okoh said that two days after the message was sent, he noticed that his SIM had been disconnected and could no longer recharge or make calls with his phone.

“The disconnection is uncalled for because I have done the needful and I should have been given time to make enquiries.

Similarly, a Fashion Designer, Aisha Alao, who also uses an MTN line, said that she was disconnected by the telco without any notice.

Alao said that it was when she got to one of the MTN outlets that the agents explained to her that she needed to do a NIN-SIM linkage.

Also speaking newsmen, a Retired Teacher, Mrs Veronica Maduabunechukwu, said that a disconnection notice was sent to her by Airtel, despite having done her NIN-SIM linkage.

“The line has not been disconnected and I see no reason why it should be barred.

Another MTN subscriber, Mrs Chinenye Agbanusi, said that she had done her NIN-SIM linkage as far back as 2020.

Agbanusi said that she was not pleased with MTN for barring her line after following due process.

She added that the telco should upgrade its systems, to avoid recurring issues of barring customers that had already done the needful.

A Globacom subscriber, Miss Kanyinsola Oje, said that a notice to link her SIM to NIN to avoid disconnection was also sent to her.

She noted that some days after the notice, her line was barred.

However, during the survey, Miss Nkechi, an Agent in one of the Airtel outlets in Ketu, said that subscribers had been coming to the centre to make complaints about their SIM being disconnected.

Similarly, Olumide, a Globacom Agent in Ketu, also confirmed that subscribers had been coming to the outlet to make complaints about their lines being barred since December 2023.

According to him, most of the subscribers insisted that they had done the NIN-SIM linkage before, but were currently having issues.

Olumide said: “the reason for the disconnection could be that the name the subscriber used in registering for their NIN is different from what they used to register their SIM.

“Another issue could be that the line was reassigned to another subscriber, so the name on the SIM could still be the name of the previous owner.

Reacting to the subscribers’ complaints, Mr Funsho Aina, the Senior Manager, External relations, MTN, said that most of the lines that were barred was because no data were found on the lines.

Aina said that it was possible that these subscribers had done the NIN-SIM linkage, but the data filed for NIN might not be the same as what they registered for their SIM.

He said that a discrepancy in data filed for NIN and for SIM could affect its collation.

“Take for instance, I register my SIM with Funsho, and in registering for the NIN I use Olufunsho, which is also my name.

“Even if I do the NIN-SIM linkage, in collating by the telco, the technology might not be able to link the names to one person and the line would be disconnected until the discrepancy is corrected,” he said.

Aina, however, said in order to correct such discrepancies and be reconnected, there were self-help steps that could be taken.

He urged subscribers to go to the portal: https://nin.mtn.ng/nin, to create a Virtual NIN (VNIN).

“You can also dial *996*3# on your mobile phone.

“Select option three for Virtual NIN, Enter your NIN to proceed, then enter ‘109071’ as your Enterprise ID.

“Or alternatively, dial *346*3*your 11 digit NIN*109071# to create a VNIN, ” Aina said.

The MTN official also explained that it seemed as if MTN subscribers were more affected, because MTN had a large number of subscribers than the other telcos. (NAN)

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1 Dead, 15 Rescued as Lagos Boat Hits Submerged Shoreline Concrete

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The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has confirmed that one person died  on Wednesday when a passenger ferry  collided with a submerged shoreline concrete.

Mrs Wuraola Alake of the Public Affairs Unit of LASWA, made the disclosure  in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

Alake said that the accident occurred around Power Line Corridor on the Lekki- Ikoyi Link Bridge.

She said that the mishap took place at 6.

50 p.m. when an Ibeshe-bound passenger ferry named T-Ben, which departed Addax Jetty,  had a collusion with the submerged shoreline concrete.

“Fifteen out of the 17 passengers said to be on board this boat have been rescued, with one casualty confirmed.

“Rescue effort is ongoing as at the time of issuing this statement.

“Officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority and other volunteers are still at the location carrying out further rescue operations,” she said.

She said that officers from the Marine Unit of the Nigeria Police Force and  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency  were at  LASWA office to hand over the recovered female corpse to Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit.(NAN)

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Gowon Urges ECOWAS Leaders to Lift Sanctions on Mali, B’Faso, Others

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Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has called on ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic.

Gowon, who is one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, made the call in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states in Abuja on Wednesday evening.

The three countries, which were slammed with sanctions by the sub-regional politico-economic bloc following military takeovers in their respective countries, recently declared their decision to withdraw from the bloc.

Addressing a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters, Gowon, expressed concern that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic to exit ECOWAS threatened the unity of the bloc with far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.

He said: “It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – three important Member States, of their intention to leave the Community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for the ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.

“The ECOWAS authorities should immediately consider the implementation of the lifting of all sanctions that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.”

Gen. Gowon also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three exiting countries, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

“Therefore, on behalf of all the founding fathers of the Community and myself, I urge the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, to put aside their differences and reunite for the peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region,” he added.

Reports says that the former Nigerian leader also presented the open letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray. (NAN)

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Senate to Investigate Cement Coys on Hike in Price

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The Senate has resolved to investigate the sudden hike in the price of cement by its producers in Nigeria.
The followed the adoption of a point of order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Lola Ashiru on the “Need to Urgently Address the Increase in Cement Price and other Building Materials in Nigeria,” at plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the order, Ashiru urged the Senate to mandate its Committee on Industries to conduct an investigation into the activities of cement manufacturing industries operating in Nigeria.

This, he said was with a view to ascertain the reasons behind the price hike.

He also urged the Senate to mandate the Committee on Industries to ensure that cement manufacturing companies adhered strictly to fair market practice and desist from anti-competitive practice.

Ashiru said that the construction industry was vital to infrastructure development adding that the building industry heavily depended on cement and other building materials for its sustenance.

He said that the trend of a daily increase in the price of the product had hampered progress in various developmental endeavours across the country.

”This is because key building materials particularly cement and iron rod prices are now sold at prohibitive rates with cement and iron rod recently rising from N5, 500 per bag in Jan. 2024 to about N14, 000 and N8,500 to N17, 000 respectively,” he said.

He also said that the sudden price increase has had a detrimental impact on critical infrastructure, and housing in the country.
Ashiru said that the raw materials for cement were being sourced 100 per cent locally and not imported making the sudden surge in price suspicious and perplexing.

“Cognisant that affordable cement and other building materials are indispensable to national development, addressing the issue in time will be advantageous to the construction industry.

“This is because it will ensure the progress of constituency projects and strengthen national security by providing jobs and stability and improve the livelihood of Nigerians generally,” he said. (NAN)

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