In a bid to get the policy right, the Nigerian government has rolled out fresh modalities for SIM card replacement in a bid to achieve a linking of subscribers’ data with their National Identity Numbers (NIN).
Subscribers, who have lost, damaged or misplaced their cards are at liberty to retrieve their cards under the new SIM card replacement policy endorsed by Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy.
The policy announcement was made in a statement issued on Saturday and signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, director of public affairs at the National Communications Commission (NCC) and Kayode Adegoke, spokesperson of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said.
Before replacement could be done, “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 stated.
Government on 15th December announced a policy shift, ordering all SIM cards not linked to NINs to be blocked after 30th December.
It was compelled to shift the deadline by three weeks to 19th January after a nationwide backlash against the new rule.
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.