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Unregistered SIMs: Subscribers to lose numbers in September

By on July 9, 2013

Telecommunications subscribers, whose numbers were disconnected after the expiration of the June 30 deadline for SIM card registration, will forfeit the numbers in 90 days if they do not report to their network operators for full registration.

SIM cards already barred will be permanently disconnected on September 28, 2013 if their owners do not register them with the operators.

The Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, disclosed this to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Sunday.

Speaking on the disconnected SIMs, he said, “As long as they are not registered, they can’t be reconnected. If after 90 days and there are no activities on the SIMs, the operator can recover the numbers.

“If the subscribers register their disconnected SIMs, they will be reconnected. We are doing this because these numbers are like resources.”

Some telecommunications subscribers were shocked on Friday as their mobile lines were finally disconnected from the operators’ network because their SIM cards were not registered.

Those affected were not able to use their phones to make calls or send text messages. But BlackBerry services were operational on the affected lines.

Some aggrieved subscribers stormed the operators’ service centres, with most of them claiming to have registered their SIM cards.

Our correspondent gathered that the affected subscribers were issued application forms at the service centres, which they were expected to fill before being readmitted into the networks, and were also expected to provide their biometric data.

Such subscribers are expected to be readmitted into the network within hours after the process has been completed.

From all indications, the actual disconnection of unregistered SIMs took effect five days after the June 30 deadline set by the NCC.

Two subscribers, who were earlier disconnected, confirmed to our correspondent that their SIM cards had been reconnected after the completion and submission of the application forms at their respective operators’ service centres.

MTN Nigeria said on Friday that following the expiration of the deadline for SIM registration, it had deactivated unregistered subscribers as directed by the NCC.

“We, therefore, wish to inform affected subscribers that they can reconnect their lines by visiting the nearest MTN Service Centre, Connect Store or SIM registration point. We have set up registration points in several places for this purpose,” the Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, said.

He explained that the process of reconnection was easy.

Goodluck said, “On arrival, you will be required to complete the SIM registration process or update your personal information and provide biometric data, after which your SIM card will be re-activated as soon as possible.

“We urge all affected customers not to panic, as our team of customer service officers are more than ready to assist in reactivating their lines once they have completed their SIM registration as mandated by the NCC.”

The spokesperson for Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah, also told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the firm had adhered strictly to the NCC directive.

“The NCC has given a directive, and we must abide by it,” he said.