The Nigerian Communications Commission has explained the process for the unlocking of Subscriber Identity Module cards locked over failure to link them with National Identification Numbers.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, offered the explanation in a statement he issued on Sunday.
The followed the release of a link on social media by persons claiming it will unbar the blocked SIMs once clicked.
Adinde said: “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wishes to officially inform telecoms consumers, whose Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are barred from making calls, that affected SIMs will not be unbarred by the service providers until they are linked with the National Identification Numbers (NINs) of the SIM holders.
“This information has become necessary in view of a viral web link (https://bit.ly/NCC-Sim-Unbar-Gov-Ng) being circulated on social media and on some websites. The link and accompanying narrative represent patent misinformation and disinformation certainly designed to mislead the general public about the SIM cards that are barred from making calls, due to non-linkage with NIN at the set deadline.
“The misleading, viral message mischievously displays NCC logo and ostensibly promises members of the public that, by clicking the web link and following further instructions in that regard, subscribers with barred SIM cards can unbar such SIMs across mobile networks without a valid NIN.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the NCC wishes to state categorically that it never issued such statement, directing subscribers or indicating that subscribers can unbar their SIM without a NIN. As such, the originators and peddlers of the spurious message were out to mischievously mislead unsuspecting members of public. Therefore, their message should be disregarded.
“The NCC is the national regulatory authority for telecommunications in Nigeria, and it is co-driving the process of the NIN-SIM linkage with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) as directed by the Federal Government.
“The Commission will not, under any circumstance, act contrary to Federal Government’s directive to MNOs to bar SIMs cards not linked to NINs at the expiration of the last deadline given for the NIN-SIM linkage exercise.
“Having disclaimed the false viral message, the Commission wishes to officially inform affected telecom subscribers on how they can get their SIMs actively connected to make calls.
“First, for subscribers that have not registered for their NIN, what to do is to get their SIM registered at accredited centres across the country and then link the NIN with their SIM cards through channels provided by their service providers.
“Secondly, for subscribers with registered NINs, what to do is to simply go and link the NIN with their SIMs through channels provided by their service providers.
“The NCC, therefore, uses this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM Linkage to among others, strengthen security situation in the country, assist in other socio-economic planning activities of the government, as well as to always advance the course of consumer protection from falling victim to the antics of cyber fraudsters.
“Finally, the NCC wishes to also inform the general public that it is not recruiting at the moment.
“Accordingly, the advertisement indicating there is ongoing recruitment at NCC, which is circulating on Twitter, and through polymediation, may have been diffused to other social media networks, is a scam and should be disregarded.”