The federal government of Nigeria, today has rolled out new guidelines for the registration and revalidation of SIM Cards in the country.
The new guidelines were was contained in a statement signed by Dr. Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami
The guidelines state that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards, while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used, while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with National Identity Number (NIN) before 1st December 2020.
Other provisions in the new guidelines are ensuring that only fully accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators; there should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3.
Ensure that no unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks; ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks; ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), and ensure that SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated.
These new guidelines, according to the statement are in line with the Powers of the Minister as stated in Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which states “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.”
Meanwhile, the statement also disclosed that 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.
It added that the NCC is to provide the Honourable Minister with progress reports on the implementation of the revised Policy.