SIM Cards Disconnection: Nigerians Abroad, Foreigners Cry Out Over Registration

Nigerians in diaspora and foreigners residing in the country have expressed worries over the new directive on national identification number from the Nigeria Communications Commission.

The NCC had on Monday directed network providers to block all SIM cards without national identification number by December 30.


The development, however, has continued to generate heated controversies.

In Nigeria, many have been calling out the federal government over the N20 service fee required to access their NIN on the phone using the code provided by the National Identity Management Commission.

Nigerians abroad and foreigners who are either resident in the country or hoping to visit Nigeria for business and tourism have continued to lament the potential effect of the directive on them.

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Some Nigerians in the diaspora have taken to social media to question the status of their SIM cards when they eventually visit the country after the December 30 deadline.

Here are their reactions below:

David Benice @benice_david who had identified as a foreigner in a Twitter chat,

Replying to Dr Joe Abah said, “What happens to those without the NIN?

So foreigners can have NIN?”

A Nigerian in the diaspora, Feranmi @Feranmicharles quipped “Are there any provisions for Nigerians living in the diaspora whose sim is not linked to his/her NIN?

Are there any provisions for foreigners living in Nigeria whose sim is not linked to his/her NiN?

If NO, block my Sims…”

Canonball @a_nickabugu tweeted, “Another thing is, if NIN is now a pre-condition for registering SIM cards, what about the foreigners in Nigeria? They won’t use phone again?”
Baker Anthony A @Plancks said, “Is the NIN registration for Nigerians only or for everyone that is in Nigeria? Are foreigners supposed to register for a Nigerian ID? Cos if SIMS without NIN will be blocked, then everyone with a SIM in Nigerian will register for NIN. I really do not understand @nimc_ng.”

Akinsile Falana @AkinSileOla wrote, “It simply means foreigners in Nigeria either on holiday or business can’t buy sim card in Nigeria. Since they can’t have NIN.”

MTO @Mofe_TO who seems worried about the foreigners who come into the country for business purposes tweeted, “The daft thing about saying sim cards not linked to NIN should be blocked is that, in practice, it means foreigners visiting Nigeria on a short stay visa cannot have sim cards because they’re not entitled to get NIN. Ease of doing business huh?!”

Efforts to reach the Chairman, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri, to comment on the issue, proved abortive.

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SaharaReporters, New York

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