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FG wants telcos to establish SIM swap centres in 774 LGAs

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The Nigerian Government has approved the establishment of dedicated Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) Swap centres by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Nigeria

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This was part of the resolution reached at the Ministerial Task Force meeting on the NIN-SIM registration held at the weekend, and chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Key stakeholders, who joined Pantami at the meeting, included the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz; DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullai; Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) ; the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, among others.

The meeting also approved the extension of the tenure of NIN enrolment agent licenses for MNOs from one to five years in consideration of their satisfactory performance, subject to continuous monitoring.

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Both the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, in a joint statement, yesterday, said the approval of tenure of NIN enrolment agent licenses is a deliberate effort of the FG to simplify the enrolment process for Nigerians and legal residents.

The statement informed that the Technical Committee was mandated to complete the development of a new SIM issuance strategy that cannot be compromised. This will ensure that there is no repeat of the past process that was compromised through preregistration by some agents; and a Multi-Sectoral Adhoc Committee was tasked to immediately complete the review of the processes for new SIM activations for legal residents staying in Nigeria for less than 24 months.

They informed that the membership of the Committee was drawn from NCC, NIMC, Nigeria Immigration Service and the ALTON.

Further, the said MNOs that already have Service Centres in important and critical locations in LGAs, are expected to upgrade these Centres to a level where they can qualify as SIM Swap Centres in order to reduce the challenges associated with the SIM Swap/Replacement process for the citizens.

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