The Federal Government has lifted the suspension placed on registration of new SIM cards in the country.
Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed this in a Thursday statement.
According to the statement, the registration of new SIM cards will resume on Monday, April 19.
However, Adeluyi said, the Federal Government has made it mandatory for anyone seeking to obtain a new SIM card to produce a National Identity Number (NIN).
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He disclosed that this was contained in the revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Significant progress has been made in the NIN registration process across the country.
“Nonetheless, the Federal Government is committed to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN. The biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards. The Revised Policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.
“The Guidelines in the Policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in National interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource. Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country.
“The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of New SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.
“The Honourable Minister has also directed NCC and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the Policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers,” the statement read in part.
Adeluyi added that, “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), amongst others.
“The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.
“For the Corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation.
“The Telecoms Master will also be responsible to ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.
“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred. In the event that a data only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed.
“A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations. The full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course.”