Telecommunications operator, Airtel Nigeria said it lost revenue totalling N14.1 billion ($34 million) between April and June this year due to the failure of some of its customers to link their National Identification Number (NIN) with their SIMs.
Its parent company, Airtel Africa, disclosed this in its quarterly result for the period ended June 30, 2022. According to the company, a total of 13.6 million Airtel customers were initially barred out of which 5.3 million (39%) have subsequently submitted their NIN and 2.3 million (17%) have subsequently been verified and unbarred.
This shows that a total of 8.3 million customers of the telcos are yet to submit their NINs as of June 30 this year. This, the telco said, resulted “in a loss of approximately $34m revenue in the quarter and a corresponding impact of 7.5 percentage points on the growth rate.”
What the company is saying
- Explaining how the NIN issue affected its revenue, Airtel said: “Following a directive issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on 7 December 2020 to all Nigerian telecom operators, Airtel Nigeria has been working with the government to ensure that all our subscribers provide their valid National Identification Numbers (NINs) to update SIM registration records. To complete the registration process, we must link the NIN information received with the SIM of the respective subscribers and share the same with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).”
- “The original regulatory directive set an initial deadline for customers to register (link) their NIN with their SIM of 30 December 2020. This was subsequently moved several times, with the last deadline being 31 March 2022.
- “Airtel Nigeria was subsequently notified that with effect from 4 April 2022, all SIMs that have not been linked to a NIN were to be placed on ‘receive only’ status, meaning all their outgoing calls have been barred with immediate effect. Subscribers of such lines can still link their SIMs to their NINs in order that these restrictions can be lifted.
- “A total of 13.6 million customers were initially barred out of which 5.3 million (39%) have subsequently submitted their NIN and 2.3 million (17%) have subsequently been verified and unbarred. As of the end of June 2022, we had collated NIN information for 40.7 million active customers. Revenues for those subscribers who have not yet linked their NIN with their SIM amount to around 7% of total revenues from Nigeria, and around 3% of total revenues for the Group,” the company added.
While noting that SIM registration has accelerated, and some SIM consolidation is occurring in response to implementation, potentially reducing the future financial impact, Aitel said it would continue to work closely with the regulator and impacted customers to help them to comply with the registration requirements, making every effort to minimise disruption and ensure affected customers can continue to benefit from full-service connectivity as soon as possible.