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Angry Customers Laments at Inability to Make Calls



Subscribers who claimed to have been barred in blunder in spite of effectively connecting their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) cards communicated their disarray, outrage, and dissatisfaction yesterday.

Review that on Monday, April 4, the Federal Government approved all media communications operators in the country to bar active calls from any unlinked SIMs on their organizations. The objective is to uphold the NIN-SIM rule.

It had been accounted for yesterday that following consistence to the mandate by the specialist co-ops, particularly the portable organization administrators (MNOs), around 75 million lines have been banished. However, it seems the notwithstanding have similarly impacted a few endorsers who professed to have confirmed and connected their NINs to SIMs.

A Globacom endorser, Abioye Owolabi, told The Guardian yesterday that he had completed the linking and verification exercise as far back as 2021, “but I was shocked this morning to discover that I cannot make calls. This is my main line and imagine not being able to make calls. It is shocking! All what I was asked to do then, I complied with and got confirmation that my line was successfully linked.”

Another Globacom user, Esther Olatunji, also said she has been barred despite completing the NIN-SIM exercise. “I woke up to make calls this morning (yesterday), only to discover that I cannot call out. I remember completing the entire NIN-SIM process around June 2021 and there was confirmation to that effect.”

Olatunji, however, said she sent a message to *109# and “I was asked to provide my NIN, which I did. After about two hours, a message came as ‘Thank you for providing your NIN. SMS confirmation will be sent to you once your NIN has been verified and linked to your line.’ I am still waiting for them to unbar me.”

Nduka Maduka, a 9mobile subscriber, said he was among the first set of Nigerians that registered and linked the SIM successfully, “but I woke up this morning to discover that my line has been barred. I will visit the 9mobile outlet to go and vent my anger because I knew what I went through to verify and link then, only for them to block me again.”

Toeing same line as others, Amaka Ndubusi lamented that both her Airtel and MTN lines cannot call out. “I cannot remember if I actually linked both then, but I know I got confirmation from one of the operators to the effect that when my line had been verified, a confirmation text would come, but am not sure there was any confirmation text to that effect.”
MTN however, apologised to customers affected, stating that the order was a directive from the Federal Government. It, in turn, asked those who claimed their lines were barred despite linking them with their NINs to send in their numbers for rectification.”

MTN via its official handle, @MTN180, stated: “Y’ello. We apologise for any inconvenience caused you. The communication to implement restrictions on outgoing calls for customers who have not linked their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIM is a directive from the Federal Government.”

Meanwhile, crowds were seen at some designated National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices, centres and telecoms operators’ outlets. For instance, crowds were at the NIMC Alausa office; some outlets around Ejigbo, Ayobo, Surulere and Ketu, among others.

While some were there to lodge complaints, others were there to complete the NIN registration. Explaining what could warrant some linked lines being barred, a senior telecoms official, who preferred anonymity, said: “It could have been as a result of incomplete registration. It could also be computer errors. It could also be that the NIN has been linked to too many SIMs. So, the last linking might have been rejected. The problem could also have come from the poor backend integration from the NIMC.

“Such subscribers can go to the service outlets and get them sorted out. The fact is a blocked SIM is revenue loss to operators and the government too. So, no operator would be happy to lose any subscriber.”

A senior official of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who doesn’t want her name in print, told The Guardian that some preliminary challenges are expected.

“We are just perfecting the system. Some few challenges would come up at the initial stage, but they will be sorted out. What any affected subscriber can do would be to visit service providers, I mean the MNOs outlet and the challenges will be resolved,” she stated.
FURTHER, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has said members have complied with Federal Government’s directive, which ordered them to bar out-going calls on subscriber lines that are not in compliance with the NIN-SIM linkage policy requirement that all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) must be linked with a National Identification Number (NIN).

ALTON, in a statement signed by its Chairman and Head of Operations, Gbenga Adebayo and Gbolahan Awonuga, respectively, said the directive followed multiple extensions of the deadline, which had been granted by the Federal Government to allow subscribers complete the NIN-SIM linkage.

“ALTON members are committed to complying with the instructions and call on telecommunication subscribers who have not obtained and/or linked a NIN to their SIMs to do so at any of the designated centres.

“We remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications,” the body stated.

IN a related development, the NCC has insisted that MNOs, their licensed agents and telecoms subscribers should always comply with the SIM registration, activation and replacement procedures as set out in the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration.

The commission made the request during the sixth edition of the Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR), a radio-based interactive consumer outreach programme of the commission, broadcast under the auspices of NCC Digital Signature, the commission’s flagship radio programme.

The programme, which had NCC officials and representatives of MNOs in attendance in the studio, was aired live on Treasure FM 98.5, Garden City, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend with the theme: “Understanding SIM Replacement Procedures.”

Speaking during the radio sensitisation programme, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen, said while operators are to ensure strict compliance when registering their customers, the SIM card owners too have the responsibility to be vigilant to ensure that they are properly captured either for new SIM activation or SIM replacement.

“As the telecoms regulator in Nigeria, our role is to enforce compliance with the extant SIM activation and replacement procedures to avoid problems that may arise in the event of stolen, lost, damaged SIMs or the need to upgrade SIM cards,” he said.

Idehen underscored the significance of SIM registration to personal and national security, and asserted that compliance with the stipulated procedures for SIM replacement will forestall identity theft, fraudulent SIM swap and other deceitful activities that can be carried out with a SIM card.

He informed the listeners that in accordance with the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration, all SIM replacements shall be undertaken by the service providers or their licensed agents in a controlled environment to eliminate the recurrent complaints of inconclusive SIM replacement procedures. He said such experiences had resulted in subscribers being defrauded by cyber fraudsters.

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Cholera outbreak in Cross River Community claims 51 lives



The death toll from the Cholera outbreak in Ekureku, Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, has risen from 20 on Saturday to 51 on Monday.

Bernard Egbe, the clan head of the community, stated this when he received Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Sandy Onor, who was in the community to sympathise with them.



The clan chief, who described the situation as unfortunate, stated that many people infected with the disease were being treated at various health facilities in the area.

He went on to say that four of the victims being treated were in critical condition.

He stated that they had received assistance from WHO, UNICEF, and state government officials.

The cholera outbreak, which began on Thursday, affected ten villages in the Ekureku clan, he said.





Mr Onor, the PDP governorship candidate, said he felt the people’s pain but urged them to remain hopeful.

He stated that if elected, he would ensure that the people of the state have safe drinking water.
He gave cash as a consolation prize to each of the Ekureku community’s ten affected villages.




Meanwhile, Janet Ekpeyong, the Director-General of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated on Sunday that the state government is on top of the situation.





She stated that the government had used both human and material resources to stop the spread of the disease.

“The state Government has deployed a response team together with representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Nigerian Red Cross and Wash Programme.






“The combined team have all intervened accordingly and helped to save lives and prevent further spread of the disease,” she stated.







A case of the disease has also been reported in a remote village in the state’s Odukpani Local Government Area.

Iwara Iwara, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.







Mr Iwara stated that the outbreak was reported on Sunday night and that the government had sent men and materials to the area.






READ ALSO:Drama as Cross River State Governor locks out staff for late coming.

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Currency hawkers selling scarce new naira notes at party venues.



Despite complaints that several bank branches had run out of the small quantities of the newly redesigned naira notes allocated to them by their head offices as early as 12 noon on Thursday, large wads of the new notes have saturated party venues, with hawkers charging N200 on N1,000.





On Thursday and Friday, journalists who visited banking halls in several cities across the country, particularly Lagos and Abuja, confirmed that there was a limited supply of the redesigned notes, as bank tellers mixed a few notes with the old ones for over-the-counter withdrawals, while automated teller machines continued to dispense old bank notes.






Further investigation revealed that several bank branches had yet to receive their new note allocations, with many bank officials informing our correspondents that the new notes were still on their way.

On the other hand, at a party in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, a woman was seen freely hawking newly redesigned wads of N200 bank notes.







However, officials at some of the bank branches that still had the new notes told reporters that each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 for onward disbursement to customers seeking over-the-counter payments, and that they do not yet have the N500 and N200 denominations.








Customers were also seen depositing old bills over the counter, while cashiers at bank branches were handing out more old naira notes.

Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier clarified on its website under currency management, that it is against the law to sell currency banknotes.








READ ALSO:Massive bombing by the Nigeria Air Force hits bandit hideouts, many killed.







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6 people dead, 25 injured in a ghastly road accident in Kogi state.



The Kogi Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed that six people were killed and 25 others were injured in an accident on the Okene-Ogori road on Saturday.

Mr Stephen Dawulung, Sector Commander in Lokoja yesterday, revealed that the lone accident involved an articulated vehicle carrying 45 people and cows.






According to the sector commander, the accident occurred around noon and killed some of the cows.

The victims of the accident were taken to Ageva General Hospital in Okene, Ajunko Clinic and Maternity in Ibilo, and Ogbagidi General Hospital in Okene, according to Dawulung.






He said: “When the accident, which involved an IVECO trailer conveying cows and 45 persons down South, occurred by a graveyard just a few kilometres to Ogori Magongo along Okene-Ogori road, Kogi, our officers and men were timely in response to it.”

“Our officers in conjunction with the Police and military personnel came to the rescue and rushed the injured to four different medical centres for medical treatment. The corpses of the dead have also been deposited at the morgue of the Ageva General Hospital, Okene.”







The accident, according to Dawulung, was caused by speed, which was uncontrollable at “a sharp bend.”

The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.











The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.

He defined mixed loading as the loading of goods and passengers in trucks and other vehicles designed solely to transport goods.

He advised motorists to maintain strict adherence to road traffic regulations at all times in order to avoid such calamitous incidents.










READ ALSO:Man shoots his step-father dead while testing charm in Adamawa state









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