NCC Directs Telcos to Stop Selling, Registering New SIMs

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunication companies in Nigeria to suspend selling, registering and activating new SIM cards as it embarks on the aud of Subscribers Registration Database.

The directive was made known in a press statement by the Commission’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, on Wednesday.

Adinde noted that the directive was in line with instructions from the office the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

The NCC stated that “Mobile Network Operators (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 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.”

The Commission, however, said some exemptions will be considered where absolutely necessary for approval from the Federal Government.

“Where it is absolutely necessary, exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government,” NCC noted.

After a similar audit in 2019, the commission announced that the SIM cards of 95.7 million subscribers were not properly registered.

The SIM registration started in 2011 with the introduction of the Subscriber Registration Regulations and registration specifications in 2011.

In August 2015 telecommunication companies were given a deadline to disconnect SIMs found not to be fully compliant with registration requirements.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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