National Identity Number now a requisite for SIM card registration

Nigeria’s minister for communications and digital economy Isa Pantami Wednesday said persons registering new SIM cards will now be required to provide their National Identity Numbers.

Non-Nigerians will be required to provide their passports and visas.

The minister said the revision of the policy is based on the “feedback received from the security agencies following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.”

Pantami said the new policy was in line with the powers of the Minister as stated in Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

The section says: “The Minister shall, in writing, from time to time notify the Commission or and express his views on the general policy direction of the Federal Government in respect of the communications sector.”

He said already registered SIM cards should be updated with NIN before Tuesday, December 1 2020.

The minister said only fully accredited agents can register new SIM cards according to the new policy.

He said henceforth all individuals are entitled to a maximum of three SIM cards as all unregistered lines will be deactivated.

Pantami disclosed that all SIM cards linked to crime will be deactivated permanently.

He urged mobile network operators to ensure that their network is guarded against cyber-attacks.

“Network operators should endeavour to adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation,” Pantami said.

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