The Federal Government has listed fresh conditions for telecommunication service subscribers to replace lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged SIM cards.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, subscribers must present their National Identification Numbers for their SIM cards to be replaced.
The National Identity Management Commission will also verify the National Identification Numbers presented by subscribers before Mobile Network Operators replace such SIM cards.
Telcos are also expected to adhere to other SIM replacement guidelines, according to a statement jointly signed on Friday by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde; and Head, Corporate Communication, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke.
The statement said 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 titled, ‘SIM Replacement Policy For The Nigerian Telecommunications Industry’, 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
“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.”
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.
Large crowds also resurfaced at NIMC centres nationwide this week after the Christmas break.