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The Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy has directed the Nigeria Communication Commission to revise the policy on sim card registration and usage.

In line with Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, the minister, Isa Pantami, said the National Identity Number (NIN) will be a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards.

In a statement signed by the minister’s Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Femi Adeluyi, on Tuesday, he said the revision of the policy is based on the feedback received from security agencies.

This is coming after the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.

He noted that foreigners will use their visas for the registration.

“While for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used and already registered SIM cards are to be updated with National Identity Number (NIN) before 1st December, 2020,” he said.

READ ALSO: Pantami explains reasons for digital economy drive in Nigeria

Also included in the expected changes is that there should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of three.

Changes expected of the policy

  • Only fully accredited agents (should) support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators.
  • There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3.
  • No unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks.
  • Subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks.
  • Ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR)
  • SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated.
  • Also, NCC is to provide the Minister with progress reports on the implementation of the revised Policy.

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