By: JP Ashedzi
In keeping with its responsibilities under the enabling law, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, to manage Nigeria’s numbering resources, the NCC has announced that from January 1, 2024, a new numbering format beginning with “02” prefix will be operational in Nigeria
The announcement was made to give expression to a key responsibility of the NCC and it is consistent with the practices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations arm supervising Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
In the process,Nigeria’s Fixed-Lines Numbering Format has changed from eight digits to 10 digits by just adding “02” prefix before the existing fixed number.
The Commission, which disclosed this in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP on Wednesday, therefore, informed the public of the changes and also clarified that existing numbers will continue to operate concurrently till the cut-over date of December 31, 2023.
“In other words, the old and new number formats are allowed to run concurrently till the cut-over date (December 31, 2023). Thereafter (from January 1, 2024), the new fixed-lines format will assume full recognition across all networks.
“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 statement explained.
NCC, however, emphasised that the change only affects the Fixed Telephone Numbers, adding that there was no change to the existing mobile numbering format.