BY Victoria Ogunrinde
The Federal Government on Friday listed new policies for telecommunication service subscribers to replace lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged SIM cards.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), subscribers must present their National Identification Numbers (NIN) in order for their SIM cards to be replaced while the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will also verify the NIN presented by subscribers before Mobile Network Operators replace such SIM cards.
Similary, telcos are also expected to adhere to other SIM replacement guidelines.
The press statement titled ‘SIM Replacement Policy For The Nigerian Telecommunications Industry’ and jointly signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde; and Head, Corporate Communication, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, noted that the decision was taken by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami after he considered the report by a technical committee “charged with the operationalisation of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM Registration Records with NIN”.
The committee comprised the NCC, NIMC, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, and Mobile Network Operators.
The statement partly read, “Based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has 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 is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise. It is aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.”
Recalled that the Federal Government through the NCC ordered telecommunications companies to deactivate telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their phones to their National Identity Number.
Large crowd thronging the NIMC web portal for the process of obtaining their National Identity Number led to the crash of the portal last week.
However, large crowds also resurfaced at NIMC centres nationwide this week after the Christmas break.