From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the approval of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration with National Identification Number (NIN) as a mandatory requirement for SIM acquisition and registration.
In a statement, yesterday, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, while disclosing the revised “National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration,” said SIM registration and procurement will kick of from Monday, April 19.
In December 2020, alongside the Federal Government’s mandated NIN-SIM linkage exercise, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed Mobile Network Operators to halt the sale of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the registration database.
The action plunged many local vendors into hardship as many of the agents lost their sources of income and were driven into frustration.
However, the directive for SIM sales and registration to commence with compulsory presentation of NIN not only fosters security, but gets many of the vendors, who had been lamenting, back to work.
“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), among others.
The possession of a national identification number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.
“For corporate registration, institutions will 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 will also be responsible to ensure 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 SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with.
“Other services will be barred. In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use (e.g. 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. Full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course.
“The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, April 19. 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 the provisions of the policy are strictly followed by operators and subscribers,” the minister said in the statement:
Pantami thanked Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
He reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.