Sanni Abdullahi

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has reaffirmed its earlier directive to telecommunications companies to suspend the registration of new SIMs.

In a press statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC also gave telecommunications network subscribers up until December 30, 2020, to provide their National Identification Number (NIN) to their network providers or risk immediate disconnection.

The statement which was issued after a meeting of communications stakeholders as convened by the Hononurable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim, yesterday, states thus:

“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. 

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“To this end, the following decisions were taken for immediate implementation by all Network Operators: 

i.​Affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend 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”.