How to unblock MTN SIM with NIN

Link NIN to MTN

MTN SIM cards being blocked is not a new thing in Nigeria. These SIM cards are blocked for various reasons including entering the wrong PIN or PUK multiple times, failure to register the SIM and most of it all, non-compliance to Nigeria government’s directive issued on December 2020 that all SIM cards must be linked with the users’ National Identification Number (NIN) or risk getting blocked.

Regardless of reasons your MTN SIM is blocked, you need to address the issues accordingly to regain access to mobile services. In this article, we will walk you through the process of linking your NIN to your MTN SIM to unblock it or to avoid being blocked.

Furthermore, if your MTN SIM card is not blocked due to NIN non-compliance reasons, we will also walk you through how to unblock your MTN SIM and other things to know about PUK.

Unblocking MTN SIM via Linking of NIN

NIN non-compliance is the major reason telecom subscribers are having issues with their SIM card being blocked nowadays. However, we are going to teach you how to link your NIN to your SIM card without stress and from the comfort of your home. Let’s dive in!

First of all, Retrieve your NIN

This is the first step to take if you’re not with your NIN slip. You need to know your NIN numbers and to do so, kindly dial *346# on your registered phone number and choose option 1 which is “NIN Retrieval. You can also visit any NIMC office near you to obtain your NIN slip.

Linking NIN to MTN via USSD Code
Image Source: Temmy Samuel

Furthermore, you can also simply login to NIMC mobile app to retrieve your NIN. Kindly login and click on the Digital ID available on the homepage screen to show your NIN numbers. Once the NIN is retrieved, you can proceed to the linkage processes.

Now, Link your NIN to the Blocked SIM

After you’ve successfully recovered your NIN, you can go ahead and link it to your blocked MTN SIM card. Linking of NIN to MTN SIM can be done in three different ways; via NIMC mobile ID app, via MTN NIN Webpage and through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) method.

USSD Way to Link NIN to MTN SIM Card

For MTN subscribers, they’re assigned with *785# USSD code. That’s, they can link their NIN to MTN simply by dialing the *785# USSD code on their MTN Line.

Linking NIN to MTN via Web

To link your NIN to your MTN SIM via MTN NIN webpage, visit this url: on your device’s web browser. On the page, enter your MTN phone number, email address and your NIN and click on Next. Follow the instructions that follows to successfully connect your NIN to your MTN Line.

Linking NIN to MTN via NIMC Mobile ID App

If you don’t have the app on your mobile, kindly head over to your phone’s app store to install the NIMC app. Once installed, proceed to Logging in section. Enter your NIN and confirm the OTP sent to your NIN phone number to Login.

Once you login, click on “My Device,” then “Add Mobile Number” Now, enter your blocked MTN Number and confirm the OTP sent to the Number to successfully link your NIN and unblock your SIM card.

Note: It may take up to 48 hours to unblock your SIM card after you’ve successfully linked the NIN. However, after 48 hours and your SIM card hasn’t been unblocked, retry this processes again and again until it work out.

Unblocking MTN SIM that have PUK Issues

If your MTN SIM card is not being blocked due to NIN non-compliance, then it’s been blocked due to entering wrong PIN or PUK or being blocked due to not registering the SIM card.

A SIM card PUK PIN serves as a security measure for your SIM card. It enables you to set up a PIN code requirement when your phone is powered on. If the PIN is entered incorrectly three times, the SIM card locks itself, requiring the PUK code to unlock it.

To unblock this kind of MTN SIM card, you will need to call MTN customer care line, which is 180, from another MTN Line. Follow the voice prompts to speak with the customer care representative directly. When you’re live with the representative, explain your situation and your problems will be fixed.

Note: It’s important to speak the language you understand. You can request to speak with representative who understands Yoruba if you’re not fluent in English Language.

Another thing to note is that the MTN PUK code is typically found on the SIM card packaging, either directly on the SIM card or on a separate piece of paper. It’s also referred to as the Personal Unblocking Key.


Some telecom users have reported their SIM cards being blocked despite being linked to their National Identification Numbers (NINs). This can occur due to various factors, including incomplete NIN registration, integration errors during NIMC processing, or mismatched information between NIN and SIM card registration data.

If all these possibilities are eliminated, it’s possible that more than seven SIM cards have been linked to one NIN. The maximum allowable limit is seven; any additional lines beyond the seventh won’t be registered and may consequently be blocked.

However, if your MTN SIM card is blocked despite being linked to your NIN, rett the Linking processes again or visit any MTN service center to lodge a complaint.