The Nigerian Communications Commission has announced a new numbering format for fixed lines (landlines) in the country.
According NCC, this is in keeping with its responsibilities under the enabling law, the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, to manage Nigeria’s numbering resources.
In the process, Nigeria’s Fixed-Lines Numbering Format has changed from eight digits to 10 digits by just adding ‘02’ prefix before existing fixed numbers, it stated.
As of July 2023, there were 96,771 fixed wireless and fixed wired (i.e., landline) lines in the country, according to the NCC.
A statement signed by Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Reuben Muoka, on Tuesday, read in part, “The Commission hereby informs the public of the changes and clarifies that existing numbers will continue to operate concurrently till the cut-over date of December 31, 2023. From January 1, 2024, the new numbering format beginning with ‘02’ prefix will be operational.”
The commission clarified that old and new number formats will be allowed to run concurrently till the cut-over date (December 31, 2023), after which (from January 1, 2024), the new fixed-lines format will assume full recognition across all networks.
The NCC further highlighted, “For example, in the new order, to dial the hitherto existing number, 09461700, please dial 02094617000.
“Additional examples are: For Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano’s current number format of 014630643, 094630643, 084460643 and 064460643, will now be 02014630643, 02094630643, 02084460643 and 02064460643 respectively in the new numbering format.”
The commission stressed that the numbering change will only affect fixed telephone numbers, stating that there is no change to the existing mobile numbering format (11 digits) in the country.
According to industry materials, a fixed line is a connection to an end customer, using a cable (e.g., a landline) through which a user can make phone calls or connect to the Internet. Fixed lines are different from mobile lines, which allow end users to connect to a network via wireless transmission technologies.