For the next 10 days, Nigerians use SMS to retrieve National-ID numbers free of charge, officials said.

The National Identification Number (NIN) is retrieved by dialing *346# from the phone number captured during registration.

The networks charged N20 per search for this service.

Communication Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami, said today that NIN retrieval requests using SMS are free for the duration of integration exercise.

The N20 waiver, he said in a statement, has been approved by telecom networks that provide the search service.

The N20 waiver represents a huge loss of N4billion or more revenue to be shared by NIMC and telcos from an estimated 184million phone subscribers.

National Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) announced the waiver in a joint letter to the Minister.

Pantami had ordered NCC to withdraw phone services from subscribers who fail to verify their lines with their NINs.

Subscribers were given until 30 December – 10 more days – to integrate NIN to their phone numbers before NCC enforces the directive.

The NIN is not printed on the ID cards but those who register will get the number from their acknowledgement slips or by dialing *346# code.

Networks make integration easier

Three of the four major networks, led by MTN, immediately established SMS codes to enable subscribers seamlessly integrate their numbers.

The fourth, 9Mobile, is working hard to find a way to do it. Their subscribers physically visit customer service centres to register/link their NIN.

UPDATED: 9Mobile has now published a similar method to link NIN, using ISDN code (see below).

Here are linking methods published by telcos:

MTN Subscribers
  • Dial *785# using the phone number you wish to link, enter your NIN and submit or;
  • Dial *785#Your NIN# from the phone number you wish to link. The number will be linked to your NIN automatically.
  • Visit https://mtnonline.com/nim/ online
  • Complete the NIN linking form by entering your name, phone number, NIN, and email address.
  • Submit the form
  • Wait for feedback from the network.
Airtel Subscribers
  • Dial *121# from the Airtel line you wish to link.
  • Type 1 for “NIN Capture” and send.
  • Enter your 11-digit NIN and send.
  • Wait for confirming message
  • If you get error message, wait a while and retry
Glo Subscribers
  • Type UPDATENIN NIN FirstName LastName
  • Send to 109 as SMS.
  • You’ll receive an SMS that your NIN has been successfully received.
9Mobile Subscribers

UPDATED

  • Dial *200*8#
  • Check 1 to display your NIN or 2 for your 11-digit NIN.
  • Enter 1*NIN#
  • You will receive a confirmation message that NIN has been received.
  • You can also link by visiting the website 9mobile.com.ng/nin

TO check your NIN status

  • Dial *346# from your line.

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For the next 10 days, use these established SMS codes to retrieve your National-ID numbers free of charge. Check out SMS codes from MTN, Glo and Airtel in this story.