MTN, Airtel, 9mobile, Glo’s Mobile Subscriptions Drop By 5.4 Million, As NCC Enforces Mandatory NIN-SIM Linkage 

MTN, Airtel, 9mobile, Glo’s Mobile Subscriptions Drop By 5.4 Million, As NCC Enforces Mandatory NIN-SIM Linkage 

2 weeks ago
2 mins read

Four telecomm operators in Nigeria – MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile – recorded a decline of 5,409,429 active mobile subscriptions within the first quarter of 2024.

According to data in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) website, the total active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria across the networks of MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile stood at 224,713,710 in December 2023 but had dropped to 219,304,281 as of March 2024.

This comes as all the telecom operators implemented the policy on the mandatory NIN-SIM linkage ordered by NCC.

Prime Business Africa recalls that the Commission had directed all telecom operators to bar all telephone lines that were yet to be linked to a verified National Identity Number (NIN) by 15th April 2024.

The disconnection process which was designed in three phrases started on 28 February 2024. The second phase was on 29 March 2024, while the third was to be on 15 April but has been extended by the NCC to 31st July 2024.

READ ALSO: NIMC, NCC Join Forces To Enhance NIN-SIM Linkage Processes

The impact of the implementation of the mandatory NIN-SIM linkage on business operations of the telecom companies reflected in the first quarter (Q1) 2024 financial report released by MTN Nigeria.

According to the report, the company had in line with NCC’s directive, barred 8.6 million lines from the network in the first quarter of this year.

MTN revealed that NCC extended the deadline to 31 July in order to provide users who have less than five lines connected to an unverified NIN more time to finish the required verification process.

It explained that users with more than five lines connected to an unverified NIN and users who failed to submit their NIN are the ones whose lines have been completely disconnected.

Commenting on the impact of the regulatory directive, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, said it affected development of their user base across all key business units.

He, however, revealed that despite fully barring 8.6 million subscribers they were able to minimise the net effect of exercise, making the total number of subscribers to reduce by only 2 million.

He said: “During the quarter, we also continued to manage the effects on our business of the industry-wide directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a full barring of subscriber lines not linked to their National Identity Number (NIN) – the NIN-SIM directive.

“This impacted the development of our user base across all of our key business units (voice, data, and fintech) in Q1 2024.

“Although we had to fully bar 8.6 million subscribers in line with the directive, we minimised the net effect of the barred subscribers, and our total number of subscribers only decreased by 2 million in Q1, closing with a total of 77.7 million subscribers.”


Drop in MTN Data Subscribers 

Despite recording a marginal decline of its data subscribers in the quarter under review by about 78,000 to 44.5 million, MTN reported an increase in voice and data traffic which rose by 5.1 per cent and 40.6 per cent respectively.

“Notwithstanding these headwinds, we recorded increased activity within the base, with voice traffic rising by 5.1% and data traffic by 40.6%.

“This is a result of the consistent growth in demand for data and voice, supported by our attractive offers to customers and continuous investment in network quality and coverage,” Toriola stated.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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