MTN, Airtel, Glo To Block Phone Numbers Without NIN In 2024, Give Deadlines For Different Categories

MTN, Airtel, Glo To Block Phone Numbers Without NIN In 2024, Give Deadlines For Different Categories

  • Telecommunication companies have set a deadline for Nigerians who have not yet linked their SIM cards with their NIN
  • Upon the expiration of the deadline, customers of MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, and other telecommunication providers will be blocked
  • The blocked SIM cards will not be able to make or receive calls, nor will they be able to send text messages

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has instructed telecommunications giants, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, to implement full network ban on all phone lines not linked to national identification numbers (NINs).

According to the directive, the telecom operators must ensure all subscribers on their network must have submitted their NINs by February 28, 2024.

MTN, Airtel, Glo
NCC instructs MTN, Airtel, others to bar sim cards without NIN Photo credit: ra-photos
Source: Getty Images

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred.

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The directives, understands, will affect millions of Nigerians across all networks.

Data from the NCC website showed 220.7 million (220,715,961) telecom subscribers are in Nigeria as of August 2023.

This is compared to 98.7 million total registrations and unique numbers issued as of April 2023 based on National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) data.

Those affected can still regain access to their lines only if they secure their NIN and link.

What is MTN saying on barring subscribers?

In a notice published on the Nigerian Exchange and obtained by, MTN said:

"MTN Nigeria Communications PLC wishes to inform that the NCC has mandated the implementation of full network barring on all phone lines lacking submission of National Identity Numbers (NINs) and those with unverified NINs.

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"This directive is part of an industry-wide measure that necessitates the barring of phone lines without submitted NINs by 28th February 2024.
"Additionally, lines with submitted but unverified NINs, specifically those with five or more connections, will face barring by 29th March 2024.
" For lines with less than five connections linked to an unverified NIN, the deadline for barring is set at 15th April 2024.
"It is essential to note that all affected subscribers must undergo verification (biometrics and biodata) before their lines can be unbarred.
"This action follows the NCC's earlier directive on 4th April 2022, which required operators to restrict outgoing calls for subscribers without linked NINs."

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Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email:

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