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Nigerian govt orders MTN, others to demand NIN from all subscribers, block defaulters

The government had earlier directed a stop in the sale of new SIM cards.

By Oge Udegbunam

The Nigeria government has ordered all telecommunication service providers to ask all subscribers to provide their National Identification Numbers (NIN). Subscribers who fail to do so within two weeks are to be blocked from using their SIM cards.

This was the resolution reached at a meeting between the minister of communication and digital economy and stakeholders in the communication industry on Monday.

The resolution was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) in a statement on Tuesday.

The major telephone networks in Nigeria are MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat.

The meeting affirmed the earlier directive to totally suspend the registration of new SIM cards by all operators.

“Operators to require ALL their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.

“The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020).

“After the deadline, ALL SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.

“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.

“The general public is hereby urged to ensure that their NINs are captured in their SIM registration data. All inconveniences which might be occasioned by this directive are deeply regretted.”

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 discussed and all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures have now become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process, the NCC said.

© 2020 THE NATIONS EXPRESS, Nigeria

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