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10 December 2020

Federal Govt halts sale, registration of new SIM cards

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended the sale or registration of a new subscriber identity module (SIM) cards by telecoms operators.

It is to enable the government to audit the Subscribers Registration Database.

In effect, no new subscriber can have access to the networks.

The suspension, which was at the instance of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, is in a bid to consolidate on the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September last year.

NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said in a statement that the objective of the audit “is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM Card Registration as issued by the Federal Government”.

The statement adds: “MNOs are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and the government has conveyed the new direction.

“However, where it is necessary, an exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.

“MNOs are to please note that non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licence.

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