Nigerian MNOs ordered by NCC to stop sale and registration of new SIM cards until audit exercise is concluded

The Nigerian Communications Commission announced the suspension of new SIM card registration by network operators

In line with the Federal Government desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September, 2019, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.

The objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators 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.

Accordingly, Mobile Network Operators have 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. 

Where it is absolutely necessary, exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government, but the NCC does not further explain the term “absolutely necessary”.

The NCC further noted 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.

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