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Soon FG May Restrict Nigerians From Owning More Than 3 SIM Cards

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Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to revise the policy on subscriber identification module(SIM) card registration and usage.

This was contained in a statement signed by Femi Adeluyi, the minister’s technical assistant on information technology.

According to Adeluyi, the updated policy are expected to include the following provisions:

  • Ensure that the national identity number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards (while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used), while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with national identity number (NIN) before December 1, 2020;
  • Ensure that only fully accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators;
  • There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3;
  • Ensure that no unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks;
  • Ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks;
  • Ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR); and
  • Ensure that SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated.

Clarifying the provisions, Pantami said the maximum number to be registered by a person will be determined by the NCC and stakeholders.

He also explained that the provision might not apply to companies.

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