Nigerian SIM ban continues – Operators to block SIM cards without National Identification Number by end of 2020

In an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry on Monday, December 14, 2020, the NCC and Operators have agreed to several immediate actions.

Following the ban of new SIM card registrations last week, the Nigerian Communications Commission and the major players in the Telco industry have met to find solutions to relieve the ban on new SIM card registrations and to validate existing SIM cards.

The meeting had in attendance the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and Management staff of all service providers in the industry.

At the meeting, the need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was exhaustively discussed and all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures have now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.

All participants agreed to affirm the directive to totally suspend registration of NEW SIMs by all operators. Therefore it will still not be possible to register new SIM cards until further notice.

The Telco operators agreed to collect valid National Identification Numbers (NIN) from all of their subscribers to update SIM registration records. This process ends on 30 December, 2020. SIM cards lacking valid NINs will the be suspended.

A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks. Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.

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