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5 Reasons Your SIM Card Is Barred

Last updated on December 24th, 2023 at 06:40 am


Following the expiration of the ultimatum given by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, we heard that over 70 million SIM cards have been barred from making outgoing calls.

For more than a year, Nigerians were directed by the government to link their SIM cards to their National Identity Number (NIN).

NIN is an 11-digit number that is done by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), an agency of the Ministry of Communication.


While some people treated the directive of the government as a joke, thousands of others who abide by the order have also been caught by the government clampdown.

Why your SIM card is Barred

In some of our articles, there are guides on how to link your NIN to MTN, GLO, Airtel, and 9mobile. But if you’ve done this and your SIM was still barred, below are the reasons your SIM was barred by the FG.

Computer Errors

Computers are not 100% perfect, they can only process the instructions or information input into them. During the linking process when thousands of Nigerians besieged telecons registration centres, officials may have made an error in your information.

Truly, you may think that you’ve done all you needed to do, but because of the error in your data, your registration will be considered invalid and will be treated as ‘no registration.

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Integration Error from NIMC

At the time SIM-NIN linking process, the server of NIMC came down because of some factors, including low bandwidth and poor maintenance among others.

If you were able to find a way around it when the NIMC’s issues were rectified, the NIMC might encounter a similar error at the point of hitting the submission button. This could be as a result of poor backend integration from the data management government agency.

Incomplete Registration

If you didn’t complete your registration as a result of frustration from your network carrier or due to a poor network, then your SIM may be barred from making outgoing calls.

Wrong NIN-MTN Linking

If the data on your SIM is completely different from your NIN data, this may be responsible for your inability to optimally use your SIM.

Wrongful Blockage

We’ve heard cases whereby MTN, GLO, Airtel and 9mobile offered apologies to some of their subscribers whose SIM cards were wrongfully blocked even when their SIM cards were successfully linked.

Remedy: If you found yourself in this situation, file a complaint with your network provider immediately to unbar your SIM.

Multiple SIM Cards Linking To NIN

You can link multiple SIM cards to one NIN. But the maximum of SIM cards you can link to your NIN is seven. We have a guide on how to link multiple SIM cards to NIN, you can check it out.

In case you’ve linked more than seven SIM, the rest will be treated as ‘no registration and will be blocked.

How To Unblock SIM Card

Only those whose SIM cards were blocked can describe their losses, especially those who use their SIMs for businesses. Some of them did the needful but were still blocked.

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If you are one of the victims of this, here are the steps to take to unbar your SIM card from making or receiving calls.

  • Visit the service centre of your network provider
  • Request for a complaint form
  • Get a letter to take to NIMC office
  • Update your data and your line will be unblocked

In a situation where the error came from your network provider, the unlocking will be done right before you leave their premises.

Litigation for Wrongful SIM Blocking

If your SIM card was wrongfully barred, you can use your network provider to contribute to the loss of revenue for your business.

Only use your network provider or Nigeria’s government if you have the budget for litigation and if you can be patient to wait for several years to get justice.

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8 thoughts on “5 Reasons Your SIM Card Is Barred”

  1. My nin is not yet available on the plastic card is still on the nylon fabric I can’t even find the nin I.D number there

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