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Nigeria Starts Project to Match Simcards with Individuals

MTN Group Ltd. will work with the Nigerian authorities to implement a regulatory requirement that all mobile lines be linked to residents’ identity numbers by the end of the year. As part of a push by Africa’s most-populous nation to tackle rising insecurity in a country where only one in four people have official identification, telecommunications companies have been ordered to link SIM cards to national identity numbers by the end of the year. Subscribers who are non-compliant by Dec. 31 risk having their phones cut off, with millions of lines at risk.  “We embrace and support the government’s push to broaden national identification numbers, or NIN, enrollment and will continue to engage with relevant authorities on the matter to establish implementation processes and time-lines for execution,” Group Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita said in an interview. The NIN is used to match a person with his or her biometric data and other details in the National Identity Database during verification and authentication.