Connect with us


FG orders MNOs to suspend SIM sale, registration, activation



Ban on SIM Card Importation Births N55BN Business in Nigeria
  • As NCC begins another audit of Subscriber Registration Database

Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has ordered suspension of sales , registration and activation of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards in the country.

This is in line with the government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM card registration exercise of September, 2019.

FG orders MNOs to suspend SIM


Thus, Minister Pantami has directed the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.

A statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs, explained that the objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 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.

The statement partly read: “Accordingly, MNOs are hereby directed 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.

“However, where it is absolutely necessary, exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.

“MNOs are to please note 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.

Why this matters

This directive by the federal government is another effort to sanitise the telecoms industry and purge the system on preregistered and not properly registered SIM cards.

Over the years, the government has established a connection between the spate of crimes, terrorism and kidnapping and the use of SIM card for accessing telecommunications services by the perpetrators, hence the need to register properly each of the country’s 205.25 million active telephone lines.

Meanwhile, it is certain that heavy sanctions await any of the operators found wanting at the end of the audit based on extant rules. In the past, the telecoms regulator had never hesitated to wield the big stick for violation of the SIM card registration guidelines and rules by the operators.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You have not selected any currencies to display