Nigeria resumes sale of new SIM cards

Ibrahim Pantami

The Nigerian government has announced the resumption of the sale and registration of new SIM cards in the country, starting from the 19th of April 2021.

A statement released on Thursday by the office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, signed by the Minister’s Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Femi Adeluyi, said that henceforth, every registered number will now be mandatorily linked to the registrant’s National Identification Number (NIN).

“The implementation of the policy will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021. The issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to,” the statement read.

It may be recalled that on the 9th of December 2020, government had ordered a ban on the sale and registration of new SIM cards by telecom operators in the country.

Noting that the Minister, Isa Ali Pantami, had on March 26 presented the revised communications policy to President Muhammadu Buhari, Adeluyi said the Minister has directed the relevant agencies to ensure that the provisions of the policy are followed strictly by operators and subscribers.

The statement added that the ban on the registration of new SIM cards was necessary to enable government conduct a proper audit of the nation’s subscriber registration data base, an exercise that has now been completed.

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