How to Link NIN to an MTN SIM

How to Link NIN to an MTN SIM

Individuals in Nigeria who use MTN or other mobile networks are familiar with the regulatory obligation to connect their NIN to their MTN line.

In April 2022, the government of Nigeria issued a directive to all telecommunications companies to require their users to connect their NIN to their SIM cards. 

Failure to link the line by the specified deadline of March 2022 would result in the inability to make calls with that particular line.

In this article, we will guide MTN subscribers on how to link their NIN to their MTN line.

The Importance of NIN

NIN, which stands for National Identification Number, is a series of 11 digits given to every Nigerian once they have completed the enrolment process in the registration system. This number serves as a distinctive identification number, comparable to the Social Security Number provided to both American citizens and residents. The National Identity Management Commission is responsible for issuing NINs.

The National Identity Number (NIN) is distinct as it serves as a means of identifying individuals in the National Identity Database. All personal information, such as demographic details, passport photo, fingerprints, and signature, are associated with the NIN.

It is not possible to use the same NIN more than once. Even in the event of the NIN holder’s death, the number cannot be given to someone else.

The Nigerian government implemented a rule in 2020 that mandated mobile network operators to have their customers connect their NIN to their phone numbers. This was done as a precautionary measure to monitor fraudulent behaviours and address security concerns throughout the nation.

What Do i Need to Link My NIN?

It is important you have these: 

1. A valid MTN sim card that has been registered.

2. Your NIN (National Identification Number) which indicates that you have completed the registration process.

3. Your VNIN (Virtual NIN) which serves as an alternative to your physical NIN.

Furthermore, to seek help in getting your MTN Line registered, you can visit a MTN Office close to you. You can also buy playstation Gift cards here and get it delivered through email immediately.

How to Link Your NIN to an MTN SIM

1. To obtain your NIN, you will need to visit an enrollment center. Alternatively, if you have already registered and wish to view your NIN using your MTN line, you can dial *346# and choose the 1. NIN retrieval option. A pop-up will appear showing your NIN. Please note that this service incurs a fee of N20.

2. To obtain a VNIN, simply dial *346# and choose 3. Virtual NIN. Input your NIN and a pop-up window will show your VNIN. MTN will also send a text message with the number, but you may also save it by taking a screenshot.

3. Connect your NIN to your MTN line- either through the MTN NIN platform or by utilizing a USSD code.

4. Go to the MTN NIN linking portal

5. Provide the required details, such as your VNIN, contact number, and email address, then click on Next.

6. Confirm the accuracy of the entered information and click on Enter. An OTP will be sent to the phone number you provided via text message. Input the OTP and verify it.

7. Please wait for confirmation indicating that the linking process has been completed successfully.
Finally, to submit your Virtual NIN, dial *996# and press 1. Then, follow the prompts and finish the linking process.


Why do I need to link my NIN to my MTN line?

There are several reasons why you need to link your National Identification Number (NIN) to your MTN line:

  • Improved Security: Linking your NIN helps to combat crimes linked to phone lines, such as impersonation, SIM card fraud, and illegal activities.
  • Reduced Risk of Disconnection: Unlinked SIM cards face potential suspension and eventual disconnection by the NCC. Linking your NIN secures your line and ensures uninterrupted service.
  • Easier Access to Services: Some government services and financial transactions may require NIN verification in the future. Having your NIN linked simplifies access to these services.
  • Improved Data Accuracy: Linking NINs provides a unified database for mobile phone users, ensuring accuracy and reducing redundancy.

My MTN line is barred, but I want to link my NIN. What should I do ?

If your MTN line is barred and you want to link your NIN, there are still ways to do so.  Here are some options you can try:

  • MTN NIN Portal: Visit the MTN NIN portal at and follow the instructions to link your NIN. You might need to unbar your line first through one of the methods above.
  • SMS: Send “NIN <your 11-digit NIN number>” to 785 from your barred MTN line. This might work even if your line is blocked for calls.
  • USSD: Dial 785 Your 11-digit NIN number# on your MTN line. This method might also work for barred lines

What information do I need to link my NIN?

You will need your 11-digit NIN and the phone number you want to link it to.

How long does it take to link my NIN?

The linking process usually takes a few minutes, but it may take longer depending on network traffic.

My NIN linking failed, what should I do?

If your NIN linking failed, try again later. If the problem persists, contact MTN customer care for assistance.

I have linked my NIN to another phone number, can I link it to my MTN line now?

You can only link one NIN to a maximum of seven phone numbers. If you have already linked your NIN to seven phone numbers, you will need to remove it from one of them before you can link it to your MTN line.

Additional Resources:


The largest mobile network in Nigeria is MTN, according to many. As per the directive from the government, all MTN subscribers are required to register their lines and associate their NIN with them. The process is straightforward and has been explained previously. One can opt to utilize either the MTN linking portal or the USSD route.

The act of not associating a phone number will result in it being blocked, regardless of whether it is an old or new number. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all MTN lines and any additional numbers are registered and connected to your NIN.


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