JUST IN: FG lifts ban on registration of new SIMs

April 15, 2021
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After months of a seal being slapped on it, the Federal Government has lifted the ban on new Subscribers Identification Module (SIMs) card registration, giving prospective subscribers a breather.

In a new directive, the government stated that communication companies in the country that had been under strict directives not to issue new SIMs would begin to do so as of Monday, April 19, 2021, but with the caveat that new owners must also provide their National Identity Number (NIN), which was the reason for the registration’s suspension in the first place.

According to a statement by Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi, the latest development is contained in President Muhammadu Buhari’s updated National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, which reads in part: “The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday, April 19th, 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.

“For each of these groups, having a National Identity Number would be a requirement. Institutions will be expected to name a Telecoms Master (at the least, an Executive Management level) to provide operational Primary NIN representation for the Corporate registration.

“The Telecoms Master will also be responsible for ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.

“In order to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services unique to the URL they are dealing with, SIM protection protocols must be introduced on the SIM profile for IoT/M2M activations. Such programs will be prohibited.”

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