Mobile phone users can now activate and register new SIM cards with a mandatory National Identity Number (NIN).
The approval by the Federal Government was given in line with the revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy revealed this in a statement signed by Femi Ademiluyi, a Technical Aide to minister Isa Pantami.
Recall that the government had suspended the activity in December 2020 as it embarked on an audit of the subscriber registration database.
The ministry said at the time that the audit exercise was important in order to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators with set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration.
According to the report, the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, section 23(a), specifies the role of the minister to include the formulation, determination, and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector.
Adeluyi stated that the minister coordinated and led the development of a Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration in collaboration with all other stakeholders.
He said prior to that, the key aspects of the draft Policy were presented to the stakeholders at the 4th review Meeting of the Ministerial Task Force (MTF) on the NIN-SIM registration which held on Friday, February 26, 2021.
The policy includes guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, new SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), among others.
The ministry also noted that the possession of a National Identity number would be a prerequisite for each of these categories. It further stated that institutions would be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation.
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