FG gives telcos 14 days to block SIM cards without NIN

The Federal Government has given telecommunications companies 14 days to block SIM cards not registered with the national identity number (NIN).

A statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says all telecommunications operators should require all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update SIM registration records.

According to Adinde, this directive follows an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on Monday, December 14, 2020, convened by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

The meeting had in attendance the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and Management staff of all service providers in the industry.

Adinde said the meeting highlighted the need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector, and that “all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures have now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.”

To this end, the following decisions were taken for immediate implementation by all Network Operators:
  1. ​Affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend registration of NEW SIMs by all operators.
  2. ​Operators to require ALL their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.
  3. ​The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020).
  4. ​After the deadline, ALL SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
  5. A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks.
  6. ​Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
Adinde thus called on the general public to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data, noting that all inconveniences which might be occasioned by this directive are deeply regretted by the Commission.

About the Author: Success Kafoi

Success Kafoi is a technology oriented Nigerian Journalist, with penchant in ICT development and technology innovation. You can reach him on success@naijaaffairs.com

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