Do MTN Subscribers Need An Alternate Sim?

Claim: Viral WhatsApp message alleges MTN informed staff to obtain backup sim as the network service will be closing. 

FALSE: Sources confirm a temporary shutdown to MTN offices and service centers. However, there are no confirmed reports of an imminent closure to the network service. 

Full Text: 

In the early hours of Wednesday, 4th September, a WhatsApp message read:

“ Kindly inform all  Staff to have a backup SIM Card apart from MTN lines. All MTN network will soon go off especially in Abuja, FCT axis”

WhatsApp Message reads…

Following the latest attack on foreigners by South Africans in some Provinces of the country; we have this “news”. Said attack has in turn ignited a series of reprisal attacks by Nigerians on South African owned businesses in Nigeria.  


Against the backdrop of xenophobia attacks, reprisal attacks…

Our sources confirm that there are indeed violent protests in several parts of the country. A string of viral videos surfaced, featuring Nigerians looting shoprite franchises as well as vandalizing MTN outlets. This prompted a message from the government to her citizens. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture urged Nigerians to desist from such attacks. He explained that most South African businesses residing in the country are owned by Nigerians. So, attacking such businesses is akin to “…cutting off your nose to spite your face”. He also retorted that Nigerians have the most to lose if said businesses were to close. 

It is against the backdrop of these events, the MTN imminent closure story has emerged. 

The Closure is Temporary 

Additionally, a personal message was sent to this researcher on the MTN line. It contains details on how to reach the network provider for assistance. More so, there are reports of other subscribers receiving the very same message.


It is evident that the shut down of offices is temporary until normalcy is restored in the country. More so, there is no mention of MTN informing staff to have a backup sim. Consequently, the public is advised to disregard this message.

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