Ministry directs NCC to revise SIM registration policy

7 Feb 2020

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has directed telecoms regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to revise the policy on SIM registration and usage. The decision is based on feedback received from security agencies following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019.

The updated policy is expected to include the following provisions, among others:

· ensure that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards, while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with NINs before 1 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

· there should be a maximum number (potentially three) of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual

· ensure that no unregistered SIMs are allowed on mobile networks

· ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks

· ensure that mobile network operators protect their networks against cyberattacks, and

· ensure that SIM cards that have been used to commit crimes are permanently deactivated.