Thursday, December 9, 2021

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FG lifts ban on registration of new SIM Cards

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on new Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) card registration.
In a statement Thursday, government stated that activation of new subscriber identification cards must be registered with a national identification number effective from Monday, April 19, 2021.

The statement by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is titled ‘FG Approves the Activation of New SIM Registration with Mandatory NIN in line with the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration’.

This follows a directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission to all Mobile Network Operators to suspend the sale, registration, and activation of new SIM Cards four months ago.

After months of a compulsory NIN-SIM linkage across the country, the government has made a u-turn, citing significant progress in the NIN registration process across the country.

The statement which was signed by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, read:

“The issuance of New SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.

“The Minister has also directed NCC and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the Policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

“The Policy includes Guidelines on New SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM Replacement, New SIM Activation for Corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), amongst others.

“The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories. For the Corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation.

“The Telecoms Master will also be responsible for ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.

“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.”

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