FG lifts ban on sales, registration of new SIM cards

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The federal government has lifted the ban placed on sales and registration of new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards nationwide.

The ban was placed to enable Nigerians who are yet to link their sim cards to their National Identity Number (NIN) do so. The regime said the move was to help tackle the worsening state of insecurity bedeviling the nation.

A statement by the Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) Isa Pantami, to Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the resumption of sales and registration of new SIM cards begins on Monday, April 19, 2021.

Mr Adeluyi said the directive is contained in a revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021,” the statement read in part. “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.

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“The Minister has also directed NCC and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the Policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

“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), amongst others.

“The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories. For the 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 for ensuring that 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 that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred,” it added.

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