Nigeria: Govt Directs SIM Card Be Linked to National Identity Number
Following the earlier directive issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the suspension of new SIM card registration by network operators, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, on Monday, issued a fresh directive that makes it compulsory for all SIM cards to be linked to National Identity Number (NIN).
The minister, who gave the fresh directive on Monday in Abuja when he convened an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry, gave telecoms operators two weeks to link subscribers' registered SIM cards on their networks to their NIN, which is currently being issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The new directive further stated that the submission of NIN by subscribers must take place within two weeks from today December 16, 2020, and end by December 30, 2020.
It also stated that after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
A ministerial taskforce comprising the Minister and all telecoms CEOs among others was constituted as members who will monitor compliance by all networks.
Meanwhile, telecoms subscribers under the aegis of the National Telecoms Subscribers Association of Nigeria (NATCOMS) have called on the federal government to re-direct the NCC to quickly lift the suspension order on the sale and activation of new SIM cards across networks.
According to them, the suspension order has made many Nigerians incommunicado after losing their SIM cards to hoodlums and robbery attacks and could not do a 'welcome back pack' to retrieve their mobile lines.