SIM card number recycling is a legal practice in Nigeria. According to the director of public affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, a SIM card or a line left dormant for up to a year can be recycled and sold to a new user. On October 30, 2022, the public relations officer for Nigeria’s Lagos Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, made a post that triggered the need to learn how to retain your MTN, Glo, or 9Mobile SIM number when you leave them unused for long, perhaps because you are out of Nigeria. 

Hundeyin posted a DM he received from someone who was defrauded over one million naira. Apparently, the victim had travelled abroad for over a year and his MTN line was left inactive. MTN thereby reissued the phone number and the number unfortunately came to be owned by  a fraudster who was able to decode the person’s bank details via the phone number and carried out the debits up to one million naira. 

You can see the content of the DM below and click here to see the post on Twitter. 

Here, you’ll learn how to retain your SIM for MTN, 9Mobile, and Glo networks. Airtel, for now, doesn’t provide the service.

How to retain your MTN SIM number 

With MTN Keep My Number (KMN), you can now keep your MTN phone number even if you leave the country or go dormant for more than 180 days.  The MTN KMN service is available to every MTN Prepaid subscriber.

This feature not only keeps your MTN number from being cancelled or reissued,  it also ensures your phone number is active for you regardless of how long you’ll be out of the country.

Steps to register your MTN SIM with the Keep My Number initiative:

  • It costs ₦‎511, ₦‎819, and ₦‎1228 to subscribe to between 1-3 years respectively. 
  • So recharge your MTN Line based on the number of years you want to subscribe. 
  • For a 1-year subscription, dial *365*1# or SMS “KMN1” to 36500.
  • For a 2-year subscription, dial *365*2# or SMS “KMN2” to 36500.
  • For a 3-year subscription, dial *365*3# or SMS “KMN3” to 36500.

Once MTN verifies your payment, your KMN number will be active for one, two, or three years, as per your subscription. And that’s how to retain your MTN SIM number and avoid deactivation or reissuance when you leave it docile for long.

Keeping your Glo SIM number 

Even if you don’t make or receive calls, text messages, or use the internet for an entire year, the Glo ALWAYS ON plan guarantees you retain your SIM number.

Once you realise you’ll be travelling and leaving your SIM inactive for more than 90 days and won’t have access to touchpoints, you should subscribe for the ALWAYS ON. 

Every Glo customer using a prepaid method can access the Glo ALWAYS ON. All you need to do is dial *777# and select ALWAYS ON from the options. Follow the prompt to complete the process.

The ALWAYS ON package costs a one-time charge of ₦500 that’ll be withdrawn from your primary account balance. Additionally, the plan duration lasts for 365 days. After that, you can renew the subscription if you’ll still be staying away for longer. 

Keeping your 9Mobile number

If you’re planning to travel abroad as a 9Mobile subscriber and don’t want your phone number deactivated or reissued to someone else, the 9Mobile Extended SIM Validity is available for you. 

For 9Mobile, this service is available to both new and current prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

The service costs ₦500 to retain your SIM card number for one year.  Once you recharge up to that amount, SIMply dial *539*1# or text 1 to 539 to subscribe. Afterwards, dial *539# to see the success status.

That’s all about how to retain your MTN, Glo, or 9Mobile SIM card number when you’ll be travelling or leaving them dormant for long. Ensure you get it done especially if you have delicate details like financial ones attached to the number. Please note that linking your phone number with your NIN does not stop the former’s deactivation and re-issuance if it’s left dormant for too long.

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