FG Lifts Suspension On New SIM Card Registration


The Federal Government has approved the activation of new SIM card registration with mandatory National Identity Number(NIN) linking beginning from April 19, 2021.

The Technical Assistant ,Information Technology to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi made this known in statement today.

He said that in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, Section 23(a), the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, coordinated and led the development of a revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration in collaboration with all other stakeholders.

He said that the key aspects of the draft policy were presented to the stakeholders at the 4th review meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on the NIN-SIM registration which took place in February.

The statement said that Pantami also presented the revised policy to President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 26 and the final amendments were completed Wednesday with further improvements and endorsed by the President.

The statement listed the policy to include guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, New SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine, amongst others.

Furthermore, the statement said that corporate registration, institutions would 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, the statement stated would also ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN.

“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.

“In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations,” the statement reads.

On the NIN registration progress, Adeluyi stated that the biometric verification process had been slower than anticipated.

He added that ot was due largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the National Identity Management Commission standards.

The revised policy, he stated would ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.

“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 Nigerian Communications Commission and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers,” he said.


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