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Inactive mobile lines reduced by 13%—NCC

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By Abraham Adekunle

After the NIN-linking policy in 2021, more people used their lines in 2022.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that the number of unused or abandoned mobile lines across the networks of MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile, has declined by 13 percent in 2022. This shows that more Nigerians used their lines in that year. According to the NCC latest subscriber data released, inactive lines on mobile networks was recorded at 94.4 million as of December 2022, which is down from the 109 million that was recorded at the end of 2021.

Revealed data by the NCC showed that the four mobile network operators had a total of 316.6 million connected lines as of December 2022. However, at the end of the month of December, the number of active lines was 222.2 million. According to these numbers, the telecom operators were able to generate revenue from 70 percent of their customers in the period under review. A mobile line is considered to be inactive by telecom operators if it is not used by the subscriber to make or receive calls and/or access the internet for a minimum of 90 days. These lines are separated from active ones because they generate no revenue for telecom operators within the stated period.

Line usage was impacted by NIN mandate in 2021.

In 2021, the Federal Government, through the NCC, mandated the linking of subscribers’ National Identification Number (NIN) to their line. Otherwise, the lines would be barred. Many Nigerians have had to abandon their mobile lines that year because of the government’s policy. While the deadline for the exercise was shifted several times from December 2020 until April 2022, millions of lines were affected as the government ordered the telecom companies to block unlinked lines around that period.

Airtel Nigeria, for instance, reported that 13.6 million of its customers were barred due to the non-submission of NIN information by the deadline of April 2022. This was published in its 9-month financial statements for the period ended December 2022. The company stated, “As of December 2022, 6.2 million customers (46 percent) have subsequently submitted their NINs and 3.2 million customers (23 percent) have been fully verified and unbarred.” It was also stated that the revenue growthy for the first nine months of the year was impacted by the effect of barring outgoing voice calls in Nigeria for customers who had not submitted their NINs.

The policy impacted the revenues of telecom operators.

Consequently, Airtel estimated that this has resulted in the loss of approximately $87 million of revenues in the nine months. MTN Nigerian also provided an update in its financial report for the year ended December 2022. It said that 19 million of its subscribers did not link their lines as of April 2022 and were barred from making calls. “As a result, in Q3, we recorded a higher churn from affected subscribers who stopped activity after the initial restriction, some of whom opted to obtain new SIMs. Therefore, we continued to ramp up gross connections and roll out NIN recovery offers to mitigate the impact of churn,” the company said.

Apart from the NIN issue, industry analysts had also attributed the increasing number of inactive lines to the fact that SIM cards are now easy to acquire and dump. According to them, the MNOs were also contributing to the increase through their aggressive marketing strategy of offering SIMs to customers cheap or free in some instances. Overall, the impact of the Federal Government directive was felt by the telecom operators in 2021, but the industry bounced back in 2022.

Having to activate a SIM with NIN contributes to inactive lines.

At the beginning of the telecoms revolution in 2001, a SIM was sold for as high as N60,000. However, the stiff competition among the telecom operators for the subscribers has pushed many of them to be offering their SIMs for free, coupled with promises of free credit and data upon activation. Presently, with the requirement of having to link NIN before a SIM can be activated, people no longer acquire SIMs for the fun of it but only when the need arises. This is contributing to the decline in the number of inactive lines on the networks.


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Admin
9 months ago

Inactive mobile lines reduced by 13%—NCCAfter the NIN-linking policy in 2021, more people used their lines in 2022. – Express your point of view.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
9 months ago

This shows the NIN policy worked to an extent. Now the phone lines that were not in use has reduced. It is better that we used our NIN to get a sim.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
9 months ago

The inactive line reduction is just due to the NIN linkage policy enforced on all Nigerians by the government in the year. Now we can figure out those that are trying to use their sim for bad act.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
9 months ago

Due to the necessity of linking NIN before a SIM may be enabled, people no longer obtain SIMs unless absolutely necessary. The number of dormant telephone lines on the networks is decreasing as a result of this.

Bola12
Bola12
Member
9 months ago

The government’s strategy of mandating NIN linking for all Nigerians this year is solely responsible for the dramatic drop in dormant lines. We can now identify folks whose intent is to engage in criminal activity while using their sim.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
9 months ago

Inactive mobile lines reduced by 13%. So many people have issues with their NIN, so people don’t want to go through the stress

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
Member
9 months ago

When a mobile line is not utilized by a subscriber to make or receive calls and/or use the internet for at least 90 days, the telecom operator may declare the line inactive.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
9 months ago

NCC has disclosed that a significant number of mobile phone lines across all of MTN Nigeria’s networks are either not being utilized or have been abandoned.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
Member
9 months ago

This show the usefulnesss of NIN linking policy it reduce the inactive mobile line people are now using their line frequent so their line will not be banned

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
9 months ago

During the time period under consideration, the telecom operators were successful in generating money from seventy percent of their total user base.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
Member
9 months ago

According to information that was made public by the NCC, as of the month of December 2022, the four mobile network carriers had a combined total of 316.6 million linked lines.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
9 months ago

The National Communications Commission was given the responsibility of enforcing the linkage of customers’ National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their respective lines.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
9 months ago

Due to the fact that these lines don’t bring in any money for telecom operators during the time period specified, they are isolated from active lines.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
9 months ago

This is helping to bring the total number of dormant lines throughout the networks down to a more manageable level.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
Member
9 months ago

Industry observers have pointed to the convenience of acquiring and dumping SIM cards as a contributing factor to the rising number of dormant lines, in addition to the NIN problem.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
9 months ago

The NIN linking to mobile lines has helped to reduce inactive lines and made a lot of people to use their own very lines.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
9 months ago

It’s good this line are separated from active ones because they generate no revenue for telecom operators within the stated period. I mean, why do they exist?

DimOla
DimOla
Member
9 months ago

We have several lines used for scamming but since the implementation of the NIN linking policy it has reduce drastically. The real line users are now more active.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
9 months ago

After the federal government made it mandatory for everyone to likn their line with their NIN number,lots of progress has been made.Despite the fact that country economy is in comatose all the telecommunications company has been make huge gain because use their line more than before.

theApr
theApr
Member
9 months ago

The government’s plan to force NIN linking on all Nigerians this year is the only factor in the sharp decline of idle lines. We can now recognize those who are using their sims with the intention of committing crimes.

Remi1
Remi1
Member
9 months ago

This demonstrates the value of the NIN connecting policy as it decreases the number of dormant mobile lines because more people are using them frequently and preventing line bans.