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Unlinked SIMs to be deactivated at deadline, govt reiterates

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Dealers, agents to undergo security checks
A new policy on Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards has shown that the Federal Government would order the deactivation of all unverified subscribers.

Titled “Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration” and packaged by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, it was learnt that the blacklisting of registered lines with no NIN was in the picture.

Already, a June 30 deadline had been handed down to Nigerians to get the special numbers.

The 45-page document sighted by The Guardian, gave a fillip to the readiness of the Federal Government to yank-off any registered SIM but with no NIN off the network.

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While statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that connected 299 million lines had been connected, with 192.4 millions active, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), nevertheless, disclosed that almost 54 million people had obtained their NINs, translating to 190 million mobile numbers.

The MTN, which has 77 million customers, said more than 35 million subscribers had submitted their NINs as at April 30, representing approximately 50 per cent of its subscriber base and 63 per cent of service revenue. It informed that about five million lines had been lost since the beginning of the year.

MEANWHILE, dealers engaged by network operators for NIN enrolment are to be accredited and their details forwarded to the NCC besides details of enrolment devices, even as SIMs assigned to them are to be forwarded to the regulator also.
The commission is to liaise with security agents to undertake checks on dealers and agents.

The new policy explained that any agent/dealer with adverse security report would not be engaged, just as mobile network operators (MNOs) are to accredit enrolment agents and their bio-data to the commission, even as they must possess NINs and BVNs.

The agents must have a minimum educational qualification of Secondary School Certificate (SSCE/WAEC), just as the MNOs are not make cash payments as commission or incentive, with all payments to be made into agent’s bank accounts.

Other directives are that MNOs should be able to identify the dealers/agents responsible for fraudulently registered SIM cards in addition to providing details of dealers/agents that registered SIM cards identified as suspect.

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