How To Make Call In Nigeria

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How to Make Calls in Nigeria

Making a call in Nigeria might seem like a simple task, but it can be quite overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with the country's telecommunication system. This article discusses everything you need to know about making calls in Nigeria, including the different types of networks, how to register your SIM card, and tips on making affordable international calls.

Types of Networks in Nigeria

There are four major types of networks in Nigeria: MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile (formerly Etisalat). These networks use the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) technology for voice and data services. Each network has its unique features, strengths, and weaknesses.

MTN is the most popular network in Nigeria, with the highest number of subscribers. It offers excellent network coverage, fast internet speed, and various data plans. Airtel has a competitive edge in terms of affordable data plans and bonus offers. Glo is known for its extensive network coverage and affordable call rates. 9mobile has a reputation for fast internet speed, great customer service, and innovative services.

How to Register Your SIM Card

Before you can make calls or use data services in Nigeria, you need to register your SIM card with your network provider. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) introduced the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration in 2011 to reduce cases of fraud, terrorism, and other crimes.

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To register your SIM card, you need to provide some personal information such as your name, date of birth, address, and a valid means of identification. You also need to provide your fingerprints and a passport photograph. Once your registration is successful, you will receive a confirmation message from your network provider.

How to Make Calls in Nigeria

To make a call in Nigeria, you need to have sufficient airtime credit on your SIM card. You can purchase airtime credit from various sources such as ATMs, mobile banking apps, or recharge cards. Once you have airtime credit, you can dial the phone number of the person you want to call, including the country code if it's an international call.

For example, if you want to call a Nigerian number from within Nigeria, you dial the 11-digit phone number. If you want to call a Nigerian number from outside Nigeria, you dial the country code (+234) followed by the 10-digit phone number. If you want to call an international number from Nigeria, you dial the country code followed by the phone number.

Tips for Making Affordable International Calls

Making international calls can be expensive, but you can reduce the cost by following these tips:

  • Use internet-based apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, or Viber to make free or low-cost international calls.
  • Purchase international calling cards from your network provider or other vendors. These cards offer discounted rates for international calls.
  • Use callback services that allow you to initiate a call from Nigeria, and the service provider connects you to the international number at a reduced rate.
  • Use VoIP services such as Google Voice or MagicJack to make international calls over the internet.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use my foreign SIM card in Nigeria?
    Yes, you can use your foreign SIM card in Nigeria, but you might incur high roaming charges. To avoid this, you can purchase a local SIM card and register it with a Nigerian network provider.

  2. How do I check my account balance on my SIM card?
    To check your account balance, dial a code specific to your network provider. For example, for MTN, you can dial *556# or send a text message with the word "BALANCE" to 131.

  3. How do I activate call waiting on my SIM card?
    To activate call waiting, dial *43# on your phone. To deactivate, dial #43#.

  4. Can I port my phone number from one network provider to another?
    Yes, you can port your phone number from one network provider to another. To do this, visit the customer service center of the network you want to join and request a porting form.

  5. How do I block unwanted calls or text messages on my SIM card?
    To block unwanted calls or text messages, you can activate call and message blocking features on your phone or contact your network provider to request a block on specific numbers.


Making calls in Nigeria is a straightforward process once you understand the network system and registration requirements. Ensure that you register your SIM card with your network provider to avoid any legal issues. Remember to explore affordable options for international calls, such as using internet-based apps, purchasing international calling cards or using VoIP services.