By Rahmatullah Mahmud

As the deadline for linking SIM cards to National Identification Numbers (NIN) in Nigeria approaches, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has rolled out Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide clarity and guidance to citizens.

In a December 2023 notice, the NCC asked telcos to bar SIMs that have not submitted their NINs by 28 February 2024, bar those whose NINs have been submitted but not verified by 29 March 2024, and bar those who have less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN by 15 April 2024.

With the deadline set for February 28th 2024, the FAQs aim to address common concerns and streamline the process for millions of Nigerians. The initiative underscores the NCC’s commitment to ensuring a smooth transition and compliance with regulatory requirements, as individuals are urged to complete the linkage before the stipulated deadline to avoid service disruptions.


Below are the FAQs on SIM-NIN Linkage

Q1. What is NIN?


The National Identity Number (NIN) is a unique digital identifier for Nigerians that serves as the foundational database for the country. Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to have the NIN. The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is the government agency responsible for the issuance and management of the National Identity Number (NIN).

Q2. Why do I need to enroll for NIN?


The enrollment for NIN is a Federal Government Policy. The NIN is used to connect all the records about an individual’s identity into the National Identity Database. It is also used as a valid means of establishing or verifying an individual’s identity.

Q3. How do I enroll for NIN?


To register for NIN, visit the nearest NIMC enrolment center You can also go to NIMC approved enrolment centres, and your Service Providers to enrol for NIN.

Q4. What are the requirements for obtaining NIN?


You need a valid Government issued ID card and BVN if you have one to enrol for NIN. Please visit:

Q5. Is there a deadline for NIN enrollment?

Ans. No

Q6. What is NIN-SIM Linkage


It is a process of attaching your NIN to your phone number to validate the person who registered the SIM Card. Please note that your phone number will NOT be linked to your NIN if the KYC information in your SIM Registration doesn’t match with the details of the NIN you submitted to your Service Provider.

Q7. What is the Step-by-Step approach for NIN-SIM Linkage


a. Confirm your NIN (by either checking your NIN enrolment slip issued by NIMC or dialing *346#.

b. Generate and submit your Virtual NIN (VNIN) to your network provider(s) via the online, USSD or other channels provided.

c. Your Mobile Network provider will then validate the submitted NIN on NIMC database and link the SIM to NIN if validation is successful.

Q8. What is Virtual NIN (VNIN)?


Virtual NIN is an encrypted, coded representation (“disguised”) version of an individual’s actual NIN, which another party verifying the number cannot retain and use in a way that puts the individual’s data privacy at risk.

Q9. How is Virtual NIN (VNIN) generated?


You can generate your Virtual NIN via USSD or through the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App following the steps below:

a. To generate a Virtual NIN via USSD, dial *346*3* Your NIN* AgentCode#

b. An SMS message will be sent back to you containing the Virtual NIN generated for you.

c. To generate a Virtual NIN via the NIMC MWS Mobile ID App, launch the MWS Mobile ID app installed on your device (Android or iOS). Make sure you have the current version of the app installed or updated on your mobile device.

d. Enter your PIN on the lock screen to continue.

e. Select the “GET VIRTUAL NIN” button on the “Home” screen.

Q10. Is there a limit to the number of SIMs a subscriber can have and link to their NIN?


Yes, you can register a maximum of 4 SIM cards per network operator. This is exclusive of SIMs that you may wish to use in your IOT devices.

Q11. Are SIMs used for IoT services restricted to only the provision of the IoT Service?


Yes, they are restricted to the specific IoT service for which they were purchased for.

Q12. Is there any limit to the number of SIMs a Corporate Entity can have and link to their NIN?


No. A Corporate Entity can register any number of SIMs on the condition that all the SIMs are linked to the company representative’s NIN (Telecom Master) and linked to a secondary NIN (i.e. the NIN of the person assigned the SIM by the Corporate.) This SIM also counts towards the maximum of 4 SIMs that a person can have on a network.

Corporate IOT SIMs are only required to be linked to a Telecom Master’s NIN as they are restricted to only communicating with the Server or URL required for the Corporate to provide a service e.g. Car Tracking.

Q13. What should I do if I did not register the SIM Card I am currently using?


You are to immediately go to your operators shop with your NIN, proof of ownership & usage (frequently dialed numbers, last recharge, frequent browsing websites etc.) of the SIM Card, then re-register.

Q14. Why should I link my NIN to my SIM?


To mitigate identity fraud and other online crimes.

To improve and enhance national security, as well as accelerating economic planning and development. To establish customer identity that will be useful for Know Your Customers (KYC) initiatives..

• To validate SIM card registration records and allow it to be used as a digital identity.

Q15. How do I verify my NIN?


To verify your NIN, visit NIMC website

Q16. Can a NIN-SIM Linkage be done by proxy?


NO, there is no proxy NIN/SIM Linkage for individuals (except for Corporate Organization)

Q17. How do I link my SIM to NIN if I have more than one number?


You can send your NIN to your service provider using *996# from each number. You can also contact your Service Provider for more information on how to link more than one number.

Q18. How do I know that my SIM has been linked to my NIN?


Dial *996# or you will receive an SMS confirmation from your operator when your NIN has successfully been linked to your SIM Card.

Q19. Will I be charged for using the *996# code?

Ans. No

Q20. I have registered and submitted my SIM for linking to my NIN, but I still got a message that my number has been barred. Why?


If you did not receive a message from your service provider that your submitted NIN has been received, then your NIN submitted was not received by your service provider.

Q21. How can my relatives abroad get NIN?


Please visit for details on diaspora enrollment centers.

Q22. As a foreigner, I have a work permit and a SIM, but I don’t have NIN, what do I do?


Foreign nationals who are legal residents in Nigeria can enroll for NIN at any NIMC enrollment center at

Q23. Will my line be blocked if I don’t submit my SIM for linking to my NIN?

Ans. Yes

Q24: Will my line be barred if the KYC details of my SIM registration does not match my NIN details?

Ans: Yes, your line will be barred.

Q25: Will I be informed if the verification of my NIN details with my SIM registration KYC details fails?

Ans: Yes, your service provider will inform you.

Q26: What should I do if I receive a message that my NIN verification failed?

Ans: You should visit one of the outlets of your service provider to rectify it.

Categories: Headlines

Make your comments...