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FG To Stop Nigerians From Owning More Than Three Sim Cards

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Nigerians may soon find it difficult to own ore than three sim cards soon, following a new directive by the Minister of Communications Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim Pantami.

The directive was given to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the Federal Government to review SIM card registration and usage, in a bid to bar Nigerians from owning more than three mobile telephone lines.

The reports stated that telecommunication companies are planning to block unregistered SIMs from functioning on their networks in line after a directive was given.

Naija News understands that the aim is to tackle the increased killings and kidnapping for ransom and general insecurity.

Another directive was also given that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians who are registering new SIM cards.

Foreigners also are to make use of their passports and visas, while sim cards that have already been registered are to be updated with the NIN before December 1, 2020.

The statement which was released by Dr. Femi Adeluyi, the technical advisor of the Communications and Digital Economy, Minister Isa Ibrahim Pantami, said

“The revision of the policy is based on the feedback received from the security agencies, following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.

It further stated that a directive has been given by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should revise the Policy on SIM Card registration and usage.

According to the statement, “This is in line with the Powers of the minister as stated in Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003- “the Minister shall, in writing, from time to time notify the Commission or and express his views on the general policy direction of the Federal Government in respect of the communications sector.

The policy update included the following provisions, amongst others:

  • Ensure that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards (while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used), while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with National Identity Number (NIN) before 1st December, 2020;
  • Ensure that only fully-accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators;
  • That a single individual cannot own more than three sim cards.
  • Make sure that mobile networks do not allow unregistered SIMs
  • Work out a plan where subscribers can easily check how many SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks;
  • Make sure that mobile networks are fortified against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), and lastly
  • Ensure that they permanently deactivate SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes.

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