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FG Lifts Ban On Sale Of SIMs

Ebuka Daniel

The Federal Government has approved the lifting of its four months long ban on the sale and activation of new Subscriber Identity Module registration.

However, it said that  the National Identification Number has become mandatory for the registration process.

The Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy disclosed on Thursday that the approval was in line with the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.

The government had on December 6, 2020, banned sale and activation of new SIMs pending when it finishes its SIM audit.

The approval was made on Wednesday following the presentation of the draft policy to the stakeholders at the 4th Review meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on the NIN-SIM registration which held last Friday, according to the Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant on Information to Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.

The ministry disclosed that the new policy would be effective on April 19, 2021.

The SA quoted Pantami to have said, “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 policy includes Guidelines on New SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM replacement, new SIM activation for corporate and Internet -of-Things/Machines-to Machine (IOT/M2M), among others. The possession of a National Identity Number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.”

In the newly approved guideline, corporate registration would require institutions to appoint a Telecoms Master at the minimum of an Executive Management level, to provide operational Primary NIN representation.

Also For Internet-of-Things activation, NCC new guideline said SIM protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIM can only be used for point to point services specific to the URL they are working with.

The ministry noted that “All other services will be barred. In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use.”

Pantami also disclosed that there was significant progress recorded in the NIN registration process across Nigeria.

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