National ID: Please, beware of dialing *346# to check NIN

It is no longer news that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ordered telecoms operators to ensure their subscribers upgrade their SIM registration details with the new National Identification Number (NIN).

If you registered your SIM card a long time ago and with old national identity card details, you must upgrade your subscription with NIN or your SIM will be blocked in the next two weeks or thereabouts.

You also cannot register a new SIM without NIN. The NCC said it made the move to verify the identity of telecoms subscribers and help improve national security.

In the wake of the news, Nigerians are being urged to dial *346# to check if they have NIN.

Yes, dailing the code with the number you used to register for the new national ID card will show your NIN once you approve it. But doing so will cost you N20 every time you follow through with it. The service is not free.

Here’s how it works

1. Once you dial *346#, you will see a dialogue box telling you that the service costs N20. You will be asked to choose 1 to retrieve (or recover) your NIN or 2 to cancel. You have to type the number of your choice into the dialogue box and then tap “Send”.

2. If the number you used to dial *346# is the same number you used to register for NIN, your NIN will be displayed and you will be charged N20.

3. If the number you used to dial *346# is not the same one you used to register for NIN, you will get a message saying your data is not available. You will get the same message if you have not registered for NIN before. And you will be charged N20.

So, be careful.

If you have registered for NIN, keep the number safe or memorise it. Use *346# only if you forget your NIN.

If you have not registered for NIN, don’t bother dialing *346#. If you do, you may end up sending free money to Digital Pulse, NIMC, MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile or whatever network or digital platform is in charge of collection the fee.

If you have not registered for NIN, please do so.

If you have more than one SIM card, your line operator should tell you how to link your NIN to your other phone number (or numbers) in the coming days. That is what the NCC told them to do.

Any of your SIM cards that is not linked to your NIN will be blocked, the NCC says. The body has given telecom operators two weeks to effect the upgrade.

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