In an attempt to connect subscribers’ data with their national identification numbers, the Nigerian government has implemented new modalities for SIM card replacement (NIN).
Under a new SIM card replacement scheme supported by Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, subscribers who have lost, damaged or misplaced their cards are free to recover their cards.
The policy announcement was made in a statement released on Saturday and signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, National Communications Commission (NCC) director of public relations, and Kayode Adegoke, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) spokesperson.
Before replacement could be performed, “the subscriber shall present a NIN; that an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC.
“And that the relevant guidelines and regulations of NCC concerning SIM card replacement are fully adhered to,” the document said.
A policy change was declared by the government on 15 December to allow all SIM cards not connected to NINs to be blocked after 30 December.
After a national outcry against the new law, it was obliged to shift the deadline by three weeks to 19 January.
A ministerial task force chaired by Mr Pantami has now established a technical panel comprising representatives of the NCC, NIMC and Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria and mobile network operators for the implementation of the SIM card replacement policy.
“The technical committee is charged with the operationalisation of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM registration records with NIN,” the statement said. The new rules guiding SIM card replacement had come into force following the approval of the recommendations of the committee.