Finally, FG suspends ban on new SIM activation

The Federal Government has directed the reactivation of registration for new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in the country.

The directive is set to be effective from Monday, 19th April 2021, thereby ending the 5-month ban on sim registration in the country.

It however made National Identity Number (NIN) registration mandatory for registering new SIM cards.

All legal foreigners resident in Nigeria are to obtain a NIN by submitting valid resident/work permits at any National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) enrollment centre, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Thursday.

The latest development was contained in revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A statement signed by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi, reads in part: “The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. 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 NIN 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.

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