Federal govt. to disconnect Lines not linked with NIN by Dec. 30

The Federal government has directed all operators in the country (NIG) to block every SIM card not synchronized with valid National Identity Number (NIN) by December 30th, following the earlier order on the suspension of new SIM card registration by network providers.

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim pantami

This came up after an urgent meeting of major stakeholders in the Communications sector convened by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) on Monday, 14 December, 2020.

The meeting in its resolution stipulated that all telecom operators in the country (NIG) must from Thursday, 16 December, 2020 require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update their SIM registration records.

Also Read: NIN-SIM linkage: Don’t block anybody from networks untill Feb 9 — Buhari

Also, part of the agreements reached at the meeting is that the submission of NIN by subscribers should be within 14 days  (from 16 December, 2020 and end by December 30, 2020).

The need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the industry was discussed extensively at the meeting. All stakeholders agreed that immediate drastic measures will be taken to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.

Furthermore, other decisions taken for immediate implementation by all Network providers are as follows: 

Affirmation of the earlier directive to completely suspend new SIM card registration by all Network providers. Network providers to require all users to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records. After the deadline, all SIM cards without NINs are to be disconnected from the networks.

The meeting was concluded with the setting up of a Ministerial Task Force comprising all the CEOs among others as members including the Minister is to monitor compliance by all networks

According to them, infringement of this directives will attract stiff sanctions, along with the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.

The Federal government however, urged the general public to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data and also  apologized for all inconveniences which might be as a result of this directive.

The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and Management staff of all service providers in the sector attended the meeting.

To this end, it will be recalled that the Minister last year September 2019 directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to carry out SIM registration audit, which resulted to the disconnection of around 9.2 million unregistered SIM cards nationwide, following the high rate of insecurity in the country.

The Minister had last week also directed the NCC to stop activation of new SIM cards. In this he stated, that it was to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration database.

Similarly, the Minister explained that the directives was in line with Federal government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of September 2019 SIM card registration.

He explained furtherly, that the aim of the audit was to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNO) with the set quality standards and requirements as announced by the commission and the Ministry.

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