Following the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) directive of  April 4, 2022 that operators should restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose Subscribers Identity Modules (SIMs) were not linked with their National Identity Numbers (NINs), it has implemented the directive on 19 million of its affected subscribers, MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola, has said.

However, subscribers whose outgoing calls were restricted for non-submission of their NINs require their NINs to be verified before being reactivated.

He said: “As at 25 April 2022, about 8.7 million of those restricted submitted their NINs for verification, of which approximately 1.2 million have been reactivated, many of whom are high-value customers. Outgoing voice revenue from the subscribers who are yet to be reactivated therefore contributed approximately 7.8 per cent of total service revenue based on FY 2021.

“In terms of how general traffic trends have evolved since the implementation of the directive, we have seen a drop off in traffic following our compliance with the directive. However, we have started to see a gradual recovery as the affected subscribers are reconnected to resume voice calls. Data revenue has continued a steady increase but has currently not fully compensated for the decline in voice revenue of restricted subscribers. Encouragingly, we have seen an acceleration in new connections.

“As MTN Nigeria, we continue to engage our affected subscribers while providing hardware support for the National Identity Management Commission to accelerate the verification of NINs submitted. We have taken significant steps to help drive NIN enrolment for subscribers who do not yet have a NIN, deploying over 4,200 points of enrolment across the country. We have also provided multiple channels to enable our customers to submit their NIN for verification and linkage,” the carrier said.

MTN Group reached a milestone in its efforts to broaden its local shareholder base, as 139,000 retail investors picked up company stocks in the last quarter ended March.

The Group had announced plans to reduce its shareholding by over 10 per cent in Nigeria, saying this was part of MTN’s localisation imperative.