FG Orders Operators To Block SIMs Without NIN

Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licence.

Nigerian Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Ali Pantami, does not support the proposed communications tax / Photo credit: Wikipedia
Nigerian Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Ali Pantami, does not support the proposed communications tax / Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Minister of Communications Dr. Isa Pantami, along with key stakeholders in the communications industry have set a December 31, 2020 deadline for all telecommunications subscribers to link their SIM cards with a National Identity Number (NIN) after which, the cards would be blocked.

Telecommunications operators will also adopt several new measures for the registration of new SIM cards and the update of existing ones.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the director of public affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission said this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said, following the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami convened an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on Monday, December 14, 2020.

He said, “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.

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

Adinde said to this end, the following decisions were taken for immediate implementation by all Network Operators: Affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend registration of new SIMs by all operators.

Operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.

The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020).

After the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.

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​A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks.

Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licence.

Adinde urged the general public to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data.

Written by The Interview Editors

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