By Stanley Iwuoha
The Federal government has officially announced a Sim card replacement policy for the telecommunications industry.
The policy fwas based on recommendations by the Technical Committee set up for implementation of linking SIM card with National Identification Numbers (NINs), headed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami.
The policy gives approval to SIM Replacement for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged.
Unlike the old Sim replacement rules by the NCC, the NIN of every subscriber now must be confirmed before his lost Sim can be restored back k to any network.
In a statement released by the Ministerial Task Force jointly signed by the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and NIMC Head, Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke,
the Minister said the new policy was introduced to ensure all Subscriber registrations are linked with National Identification Numbers (NINs) is moving forward and all stakeholders in the industry are working together to ensure the process is carried out as seamlessly as possible.
He said the Federal Government drive to ensure all Subscriber registrations are linked with National Identification Numbers (NINs) is moving forward and that all stakeholders in the industry are working together to ensure the process is carried out as seamlessly as possible.
He seize the opportunity to appreciate Nigerians for the understanding and commitment demonstrated towards ensuring the overall success of this exercise.
Recall that the Ministerial Task Force under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy set up a Technical Committee made up of representatives of: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); National Identity Management Commission (NIMC); the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
The Technical Committee is charged with the operationalization of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM Registration Records with NIN.
Based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, the Minister approved a SIM Replacement Policy for subscribers, whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged subject to the following conditions: That the subscriber 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 Replacement are fully adhered to.
This policy, according to Pantami is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise.
The policy is also aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.
In a related development, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC has warned that those National Identity Number applicants rist a 7-year jail term.
Citing section 14, 20 and 21 of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (,ICPC) Act and Sections 10 and 12 of the Code of Vonduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, the Commission said the offence is punishable in accordance with the laws.
It further reiterated its earlier position that the ongoing NIN enrolment is free of charge across the country
NIMC urged Nigerians to resist any attempt to extort them and report such cases of extortion for diligent prosecutions to serve as a deterrent.