Subscribers groan as Galaxy Backbone battles portal outage

Telecommunications subscribers continued to lament their inability to retrieve lost subscriber identity modules or obtain new ones as National Identity Management Commission portal downtime stretches to ‘on his ninth day.

The PUNCH had reported on Monday that thousands of telecom subscribers nationwide seeking to retrieve their lost SIM cards or acquire new lines were unable to do so due to a technical glitch in the identity management portal. national NIMC which anchored the services linked to the SIM card.

This portal allows telecom companies, the Nigerian Immigration Service, banks and other organizations to verify the national identity number of their customers before dealing with them, in line with the federal government directive .

The hitch affecting NIMC’s NIN portal was caused by a technical issue with the hosting service platform of Galaxy Backbone Limited, a federal government agency that provides information and communications technology services.

Since the beginning of the problem, NIMC has been advising telecom operators to adopt its digital tokenization and USSD system to verify subscribers. However, telecom operators continued to complain that this process was slow and not complete.

In a conversation with our correspondent on Tuesday, a senior official at an MTN outlet in Lagos said that the recommended alternative, which is the vNIN platform, was not accessible (Tuesday evening).

She said that the repeated attempts to use the platform only produced error messages and the feedback would be duly communicated to NIMC with the aim of correcting the flaws in the platform.

She said: “Apparently you are supposed to dial *346*3*NIN*company code# to get your vNIN but I tried it and it doesn’t work. They said you can try it on any line as long as you have your NIN It keeps saying service timed out.

“So you can’t even generate the vNIN. If you try to download the app, OTP does not drop. They ask us to test, look into the issues and get back to them so they can get something to NIMC.

“There are two ways to get your virtual NIN. It’s either you use the USSD code, which hasn’t worked since the morning, or you download the application. The problem with the USSD code is that you cannot dial it with a number with which you have not registered the NIN, but if you download the mobile application, at the time of downloading it will send OTP (password to single use) to your line so that you can enter it when registering on the application. The OTP does not drop. This is what we were asked to test and see how it goes.

A senior official from the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria revealed that the technical teams of the telecommunications companies and NIMC meet every day. The source added that the app NIMC was looking for had issues.

The source said, “There was no special meeting today. Technical teams from both sides meet every day. Since the start of SIM-NIN harmonization, we have had daily meetings from both sides. sides.

“Every day there is a regular meeting between telecoms and NIMC. During the meeting, verification issues, check-in, any issues, and challenges. I didn’t join them today. I am a member of this meeting, but I had other meetings to attend. But we have people who attend regular daily meetings. We have a platform, for this meeting.

“NIMC is requesting the use of the app in the meantime. There are some issues with the app, but NIMC is trying to get it working.

Meanwhile, in a statement signed by Galaxy Backbone’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Chidi Okpala, a priority classification has been assigned in a bid to resolve persistent technical difficulties that have anchored the businesses of some of its customers across the country. .

He said: “The management of Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) regrets the temporary outage of some of its services and the inconvenience experienced by some of its customers across the country.

“Across the organization, the highest priority classification has been assigned and everyone is on deck to ensure that resolution is achieved as soon as possible.

“At the time of this press release, GBB has established a highly qualified technical team of experienced engineers and application experts to not only resolve this current issue, but also to put in place all the necessary structures to ensure that “Such an incident will never happen again in the future. While many services have been restored, efforts are being made to restore all other services for its customers.

“In the meantime, and since this incident occurred, GBB has continued to inform and contact all of its valued customers and will continue to do so to provide necessary updates until all affected departments are fully restored.”