The Federal Government of Nigerian has given new conditions for telecommunication service subscribers to replace damaged, misplaced, lost or stolen SIM cards.
In a joint statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adinde; and Head, Corporate Communication, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke on Friday, it said subscribers must present their National Identification Numbers (NIN) for their SIM cards to be replaced.
The statement added that the decision was taken by Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, after he considered the report by a technical committee “charged with the operationalisation of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM Registration Records with NIN”.
The statement titled, ‘SIM Replacement Policy For The Nigerian Telecommunications Industry’, read in part:
“Based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has approved a SIM Replacement Policy for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged subject to the following conditions:
“That the subscriber present a NIN;
“That an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC; and
“That the relevant Guidelines and Regulations of NCC concerning SIM Replacement are fully adhered to.
“This policy is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise. It’s aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.”
The committee comprised the NIMC, NCC, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, and Mobile Network Operators.
Recall that the NCC had ordered telecommunications companies to halt the sale and activation of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).
NCC warned that non-compliance by network operators could lead to the withdrawal of operating licenses.