TECHNOCRAT MEDIA NIGERIA
Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, says over 180 million telephone lines are now linked with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).
He disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the public hearing and inquiry on the proposed draft regulations on telephone subscriber registration, sim replacement, and spectrum allocation, 2021.
According to him, the figure followed the capturing of over 60 million Nigerians by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in the National Identity Numbers (NIN) database, TheCable in a report.
“The NIN-SIM linkages so far are 180 million subscribers. When you look at the number of SIMs tied to a NIN, you have about 3-4, which translates to 180 million subscribers whose SIMs are linked to their NIN,” he said.
He added that the telecommunications industry had bounced back with broadband penetration peaking at 41 percent while active telephone subscribers have increased by over one million.
In July, the federal ministry of communications and digital economy extended the NIN-SIM integration exercise to October 31 as the deadline was shifted from the previous date of July 26, 2021.
As of then, NCC said it achieved 59.8 million unique NIN enrolments, with an average of three to four SIMs per NIN. Danbatta who made comment on the recently approved fifth-generation (5G) technology, said the commission had put everything in place to auction five slots of the 5G spectrum.
“When I appeared before the senate on our readiness for 5G deployment, I said we were 95 percent, but right now we are 97 percent,” he said.
Adeleke Adewolu, NCC executive commissioner, stakeholders management, said that the public hearing and inquiry on the spectrum trading guidelines, sim registration guidelines, and telephone users guidelines would help improve the industry.
Adewolu appealed to the commission to look into the N200,000 penalty for an active unregistered line and review it upward to serve as a deterrent.
“These spectrum trading guidelines, telephone users guidelines, and SIM replacement guidelines will help to guarantee growth in the industry,” he said.