By Kenneth Jukpor
After a crucial stakeholders meeting conveyed by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Minister has directed the total suspension of SIM users without National Identity Number (NIN) by December 30, 2020.
The Ministry also affirmed its earlier directive to totally suspend registration of new SIMs by all operators, while existing subscribers are to provide valid NIN to update SIM registration records.
Following the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) convened an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on Monday, December 14, 2020.
The meeting had in attendance the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and Management staff of all service providers in the industry.
At the meeting, the need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was exhaustively discussed and all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures have now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.
Some other directives include the submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and end by December 30, 2020), after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.
A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks, violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
This information was contained in a press release yesterday, signed by the Ministry’s Director, Public Relations, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde who also urged the general public to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data.