Short codes to enable customers link their National Identity Numbers (NINs) with Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) have been unveiled by Telecom operators.
This is coming after two weeks ultimatum was handed over to subscribers and operators by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
One of the Telecom operators, Globacom said “All our esteemed customers can now link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their mobile numbers by simply sending ‘UPDATENIN NIN FirstName and LastName’ to 109. For example, send ‘UPDATENIN 12345678903 Chidera Abdul-Ola’ to 109.”
Customers can dial *346# to retrieve their NIN if they have already registered with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
It noted that it was rolling out this measure to make it easy for its subscribers to comply with the directive.
It advised customers without a NIN to visit a NIN enrolment centre to get one.
The Federal Government had licensed 173 centers and 30 state governments/public sector institutions to conduct the enrolment across the country.
Glo subscribers with additional enquiries are encouraged to contact any of its customer contact channels or to visit https://www.gloworld.com/ng/nin for further support.
Another network, 9mobile also announced the launch of its intelligent portal for instant verification to help its customers to link their SIM cards with their NIN. The Online Self-Service NIN update portal www.9mobile.com.ng/nin, which has already gone live on the 9mobile website, enables subscribers to verify and update their NINs instantly.
The platform provides 9mobile subscribers an opportunity to submit and verify their NIN without physically visiting any of its Experience Centers.
Apart from the portal, 9mobile has also made available a USSD option *200*8# that allows subscribers to check the matching status of their NIN to their SIM and subsequently submit it for backend verification and mapping.
Commenting on the exercise, the Chief Information Officer, 9mobile, Ibikunle Jimo, said the looks out for the convenience of its subscribers by leveraging innovation.
“Immediately, we received the NCC directive to link all SIMs with the respective subscribers’ NIN; we challenged our IT and network teams to develop a seamless and stress-free solution for our customers.
He said: “This solution is differentiator for us since our customers do not need to wait endlessly for the NIN link up with their SIM cards. This is what it means to use innovation to solve societal challenges for our customers. This solution is the power of the innovation etched in our DNA.
MTN had earlier advised its customers to visit https://t.co/2T3Nc2rV0l to submit their NIN or dial *785# or visit myMTNApp.
“If you don’t have a NIN, please visit an enrolment center and urge your family, friends and everyone you know to do same. If you have registered for a NIN and wish to retrieve it, please dial *346# using the number registered at enrolment, “ its Chief Customer Relations Officer, Ugonwa Nwoye, said.
Airtel had also unveiled its shortcode of *121*1# which it said will facilitate seamless link of NIN with SIMs on its network.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “instruct the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Aliyu Abubakar, to stop the NIN registration.
It said the data being sought by the agencies already existed in several platforms, including the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), driver’s license, international passport and voter cards.”
SERAP also urged Buhari “to instruct Mr Pantami and Mr Abubakar to take concrete measures to promptly ensure that the NIMC is able to faithfully and effectively discharge its statutory functions to harmonise and integrate existing identification databases in government agencies into the National Identity Database.”
The group argued that “the push for registration for NIN is a bad initiative, and cannot find support in existing laws, the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international human rights obligations.”