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Latest on How to Link your NIN to Airtel

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Knowing how to link your NIN to your Airtel mobile number has become a crucial requirement in Nigeria’s telecommunications sector.

Many phone users are scared they might lose their phone numbers, as the government says they’ll block phone lines for people in Nigeria who haven’t connected their National ID number to their SIM cards by February 28th, 2024.

In response to regulatory directives aimed at enhancing national security and identity verification, Airtel has streamlined the process for subscribers to link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their Airtel numbers. 

In this article, we’ll be reviewing how to link your NIN to your Airtel mobile number and also see reasons why this instruction is important to the telecommunication Industry.

General Overview of NIN

In many countries, the government uses the National Identification Number also known as National Identity Number, or National Insurance Number to keep track of its people.

This helps them track their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other government-related activities.

Different countries have different ways of using this system. Usually, citizens get their number when they become adults or when they are born.

People who aren’t citizens might get a number when they move to the country or when they are given permission to stay for a while.

Originally, these numbers were meant for specific things, like organizing social benefits in the United States. But over time, they’ve become more important for other stuff too, like opening bank accounts or getting a credit card.

Sometimes, countries need to collect Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) information for payments made overseas, but not always.

To keep track of everyone, governments use databases and need a special number to make sure they’re talking about the right person. In places where there’s no official national number, governments have to make up their own system, but this can sometimes lead to mix-ups.

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What is NIN?

The National Identification Number (NIN) is a unique identifier issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to Nigerian citizens and legal residents.

This crucial code facilitates identity verification and is essential for accessing government services, opening bank accounts, and linking to SIM cards for telecommunications. 

It serves as a key to enhancing security measures, easing administrative processes, and ensuring accurate identification across diverse sectors of society. 

The NIN reinforces integrity and reliability in personal data management by providing a standardised means of identification. This has contributed to the overall efficiency and performance of public and private services.

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Importance of Linking NIN to your Numbers.

Your National Identification Number (NIN) is like a digital ID that links up all your information, like where you live, your fingerprints, a photo of your face, and other details, in one big database.

This makes it easier to prove who you are when you’re doing things like traveling or making transactions. It’s very important for everyone in Nigeria, whether you live here or abroad, to get their own NIN as soon as possible. 

When signing up for your NIN, make sure to give accurate information about yourself. This information will stick with you for life and will be what people use to confirm your identity whenever your NIN is needed.

NIN is important to different people in society in different ways and below are the people it affects and its importance to them.

1. To an Individual:

  • Your NIN (National Identification Number) is essential for accessing your information from the National Identity Database.
  • The information linked to your NIN helps verify your identity.
  • Having a NIN ensures that your identity can be confirmed accurately.

2. To the Society:

  • NINs (National Identification Numbers) issued by the government help keep accurate records of people who are alive or dead across the country.
  • They track transactions and people’s movements within and outside the country.
  • NINs assist in confirming who truly needs specific government services, such as verifying the age and retirement status of pensioners.

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3. In accessing vital services:

Your NIN (National Identification Number) is important for accessing essential services like getting a passport, using banking services, buying or selling land, getting insurance, pensions, health insurance, paying taxes, registering to vote, getting loans, and accessing government services. Here’s why

  • It helps speed up the process of verifying your identity, making it quicker to access the services you need.
  • It reduces mistakes in giving services to the right people.
  • NIN helps prevent fraud, where someone pretends to be you (like the famous “419” scams).
  • It allows you to check the true identity of others you do financial or business deals with, or even people you want to hire, like housekeepers.
  • Your NIN ensures you’re correctly identified when getting healthcare, like confirming the blood types of blood donors in hospitals.
  • It confirms your eligibility to vote during elections.

4. In Banks and other business services:

The government and banks in Nigeria are working together to make sure all their databases match up.

The Nigeria Immigration Service recently said you need a National Identification Number (NIN) to get a passport. This shows how important it is for everyone to have their own NIN.

In the future, wherever you go for government or bank stuff, they’ll use your NIN. Just imagine you go to the immigration office for a passport and instead of showing a bunch of documents, you just give them your NIN.

The immigration officials will then connect to the National Identity Database with their computer, and all your information pops up. 

They can only see what they’re authorized to view and with that, your identity is confirmed without any extra hassle or money spent.

This is the ease provided by the NIN.The same thing goes for getting a driver’s license. Just give them your NIN, and that’s all they need to verify who you are.

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5. Outside Nigeria:

Your National Identification Number (NIN) stays important even when you’re abroad:

  • It helps you connect with fellow Nigerians overseas.
  • The Nigerian government gets better information about its citizens abroad, which helps in finding and using their skills.
  • Using your NIN for ID can help you find family and friends around the world.
  • It helps track and verify people sending or receiving money or stuff, making international transactions safer.

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Requirements for Linking NIN to Airtel

Before initiating the linking process of your sim card to NIN , ensure you have the following things:

  • A registered Airtel SIM card.
  • Your National Identification Number (NIN) issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
  • Access to a mobile device with calling and messaging capabilities

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If you use Airtel, it’s important to connect your NIN (National Identification Number) to your Airtel phone number quickly. This helps avoid any problems or interruptions with your service. 

You can link your NIN to Airtel in three simple ways: using a USSD code (*966#), through the Airtel-NIN website, or using the NIMC Mobile ID app

Also, you’ll make a Virtual National Identification Number (VNIN), which keeps your NIN safe from being copied or faked.

1. Using the USSD code

To link your NIN to Airtel Line using USSD, follow these steps:

  • Dial *996# on your Airtel phone.
  • Enter your VNIN when prompted. If you don’t have a VNIN, dial *346*3*your NIN*121097#.
  • Wait for confirmation of your submission. 

If you encounter an error, try again later. It might take a moment for the process to complete, so be patient.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure you link your SIM card to your NIN, fulfilling regulatory requirements and ensuring continued service without interruptions.

2. Through the Airtel-NIN Website

Below are the steps to link your National Identification Number (NIN) to your Airtel phone number using the Airtel-NIN website:

  • Go to the official Airtel-NIN portal on your phone or computer.
  • Enter your phone number, email address, and NIN. If you don’t have a Virtual NIN (VNIN), you can make one by dialing *996*3# on your phone and following the instructions. You’ll need to provide your NIN and the enterprise ID 109071.
  • After filling in the details, click on the submit button and wait for a confirmation message. A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your Airtel phone number for verification.
  • Enter the OTP you received and click on confirm. 

That’s it! Your NIN is now successfully linked to your Airtel line.

3. NIMC Mobile ID app

To link your NIN to AIRTEL phone number using the NIMC MobileID app, here’s what you do:

  • Get the NIMC MobileID app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and install it on your phone.
  • Open the app and either scan the QR code on your NIN slip or type in your NIN manually.
  • Make a 6-digit PIN to protect your app and information.
  • Click on “My Devices” and then select “Add Device”.
  • Type in your Airtel phone number and click submit. You’ll get a one-time password (OTP) sent to your Airtel number for verification.
  • Enter the OTP and confirm. Now, your NIN is linked to your Airtel line.

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Why do I need to link my NIN to my Airtel number?

Linking your NIN to your Airtel number is mandatory as per the directives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). It enhances national security, helps in curbing fraudulent activities, and ensures regulatory compliance.

How do I find out my National Identification Number (NIN)?

Your NIN is issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). You can dial *346# on your phone to retrieve your NIN.You can also find your NIN on the National ID card issued by NIMC or by visiting the NIMC enrollment center.

Can I link my NIN to my Airtel number online?

Yes, you can link your NIN to your Airtel number online through the Airtel website or mobile app. Alternatively, you can also visit any Airtel store or authorized retailer to complete the linking process.

What happens if I don’t link my NIN to my Airtel number?

Failure to link your NIN to your Airtel number may result in the suspension of your Airtel services as mandated by regulatory authorities. It is essential to complete the linking process to avoid any service interruptions.

I have multiple Airtel numbers. Do I need to link my NIN to each of them separately?

Yes, you need to link your NIN to each Airtel number separately. This ensures that all your Airtel lines are compliant with the regulatory requirements.

Will I be charged for linking my NIN to my Airtel number?

No, Airtel does not charge any fee for linking your NIN to your Airtel number. The process is free of charge.

How long does it take for the NIN linking process to be completed?

The NIN linking process with Airtel is usually completed instantly or within a few hours. However, in some cases, it may take up to 24 hours for the linking process to be finalized.


Linking your NIN to your Airtel mobile number is a straightforward process designed to enhance security and compliance with regulatory requirements. 

By following the steps outlined in this article and adhering to the provided tips, Airtel subscribers can ensure seamless compliance with the NIN-SIM linkage mandate while enjoying uninterrupted telecommunications services.



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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 148

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