In an earlier directive on the new SIM registration suspension by Mobile Network Operators (MNO), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy recently held a meeting on Monday, December 14, 2020. that saw communications stakeholders in attendance.
Notable presence in the meeting include: the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as well as top executives of all service providers in the industry.
During the meeting, the need to improve transparency around the registration of new SIM cards, while consolidating the registration audit of 2020 made the focus of discussion. It is now paramount that all the stakeholders take a stand on maintaining high performance in the sector.
In a statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, the meeting concluded on the following decisions and are expected to be adhered strictly to by the MNOs
- Affirmation of the earlier directive to totally suspend the registration of NEW SIMs by all operators.
- Operators to require ALL their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.
- The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020).
- After the deadline, ALL SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
- A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks.
- Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
The Ministry, therefore, urges the general public to make sure their SIM registration is updated with their NINs.
“All inconveniences which might be occasioned by this directive are deeply regretted.”, the statement reads.
However at techbuild.africa we are of the opinion that there should be a time extension for this directive to be well executed as NIMC has no capacity to effect the exercise on over170 million Nigerians that are due for this new registration.
A case in point was the directive by JAMB during the UTME exercise carried out in 2020, where applicants were requested to add their NIN to the form but the national examination body had to cancel the directive as NIMC was unable to register all the applicants in due time.
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