July 14, 2024

MTN Nigeria’s customers are currently experiencing difficulty in making calls and using their data as the company faces a prolonged downtime on its network.  

The telecom operator has, however, blamed the network on multiple fibre cuts, saying its engineers are working assiduously to restore normal services.  

This comes on a day fixed as the deadline for telecom operators to block all lines not linked with National Identification Number (NIN) as directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).  

Coinciding with the deadline, many subscribers who have been unable to make or receive calls on their lines were wondering if their lines had been barred by the network operator.  

What MTN is saying 

However, explaining the service outage, MTN in a statement released vis its support hand on X, explained:

“Dear Customer, you have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services.

“Our engineers are working hard to resolve this with services gradually being restored in some areas.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience & understanding as the team works to restore full service as soon as possible.”

In another message sent directly to some of its customers, MTN indicated that the service outage affected all the regions of the country. According to the company, the problem started at about 1.39 PM on Wednesday, February 28.  

In Nigeria, incidences of fibre cuts have been a major of the perennial poor quality of telecommunications services. This occurs largely during road construction works and in some cases by deliberate acts of vandalism.  

According to the figures recently released by the NCC, Nigerian telecom industry spent N14 billion to fix no fewer than 59,000 fibre cuts recorded between 2022 and 2023. 

The Commission also revealed that the industry experienced over 35,000 fiber cuts in 2022 and over 24,000 fibre cuts in 2023. 

NIN-SIM linkage issue 

The current service outage on MTN heralds a regulatory action that may lead to many subscribers being fully barred from using all telecommunications services from February 29. 

According to a directive issued by the NCC in December last year, all telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others are to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024. 

In addition, those who had submitted their NINs but have not been verified are also to be fully barred.  

About NINs that have been submitted but not verified, such lines are to be barred on or before 29 March 2024, where five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN.

Similarly, where less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024. 

According to the directive, all affected subscribers must be verified (biometrics and biodata) before their lines are unbarred. 



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