The Nigerian Government has reversed its initial ban and approved the activation of New SIM Registration with the Mandatory NIN in line with the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Communications on Thursday, citing the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, Section 23(a), which specifies the role of the Minister to include the formulation, determination and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector.
What the statement said
- An earlier policy was approved on the 4th of February 2020, while the Revised Policy was developed in early March 2021. The final amendments to the revised Policy based on the directives of Mr President to make the use of NIN mandatory for all SIM registration were completed yesterday, 14th of April, 2021.
- The Policy includes Guidelines on New SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM Replacement, New SIM Activation for Corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), amongst others.
- The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.
- For Corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation. The Telecoms Master will also be responsible to ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.
- For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.
The FG added that in the event that a data-only service is particular to individual use (e.g. home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed.
- A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations. The full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course.
- “The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to,” it said.