By Stanley Iwuoha
The federal govt has given new directive on SIM card registration in the country.
The new directive tasks the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission to carry out a detailed and thorough forensic on the registered SIMs already in use at the moment.
This could be to tame the tide of insecurity which has risen to alarming rates in recent time.
But the minister of communications and Digital economy, Ali Ibrahim Pantami said it was in line with the federal government’s desire to consolidate the achievements of the SIM card registration exercise which began in 2011.
A statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, explained that the objective of the audit exercise 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 Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Commission.
Accordingly, MNOs are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, as directed by government.
However, where it is absolutely necessary, Adinde said the exemption is permitted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.
He however warned the MNOs against non-compliance with the directive, as failure will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
Sequel to this directive, as earlier directed by the Minister in January, 2020, he urged all citizens to immediately secure Digital Identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the Network Operators.