The Federal Government has issued an order to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number (NIN).
The network operators were also asked to inform all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update their records and suspend SIM registration.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, noted in a statement on Tuesday that a meeting with stakeholders in the communications industry was convened on Monday by the Minister, Dr Isa Pantami.
According to Adinde, the meeting agreed that the submission of NIN by subscribers would take place between December 16 and 30, 2020.
After the deadline, the government stated that all SIMs without NINs should be blocked from the networks while a Ministerial Task Force which includes the minister and all the CEOs, among others would monitor compliance by all networks.
It warned that violations of the directives by any network operator would be met with possible withdrawal of operating licences.
In attendance were the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), top officials of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and management staff of all service providers in the industry.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW SIM REGISTRATION RULES
Following the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) convened an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on Monday, December 14, 2020.
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.
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.
To this end, the following decisions were taken for immediate implementation by all Network Operators:
i.Affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend the registration of NEW SIMs by all operators.
ii.Operators to require ALL their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.
iii.The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December 2020).
iv.After the deadline, ALL SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
v.A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks.
vi.Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
The general public is hereby urged to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data.
All inconveniences which might be occasioned by this directive are deeply regretted.
Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde
Director, Public Affairs
December 15, 2020