The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has instructed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to stop the sales of SIM cards in Nigeria pending an audit of the SIM registration database.
According to a statement from NCC, signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the instruction is in line with the Federal Government desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September, 2019.
The statement disclosed that the
objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM Card Registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Commission.
With the instruction, MNOs are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and Government has conveyed the new direction.
However, where it is absolutely necessary, exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.
MNOs are to please note that non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
As the Minister has earlier directed in January, 2020, all citizens are urged to immediately secure Digital Identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the Network Operators.