Nigeria Battles Insecurity, Orders Blocking Of All SIM Cards With No National Identity Numbers
Nigeria begins No NIN, No SIM policy.
TELECOM operators in Nigeria have two weeks to block all SIM cards not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).
The regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), gave the order this week in Abuja, as part of government’s measures to checkmate rising cases of insecurity including kidnapping, banditry and other acts of terrorism.
There are over 185 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria. MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile, are the major network operators in the country. MTN leads the market with 70.69 million subscribers, nearly 40% while Globacom follows and account for more 28.% of the market share with over 52 million subscribers.
What is NIN?
The NIN is a set of unique numbers issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to citizens who have registered with it. It consists of 11 non- intelligible numbers randomly chosen and assigned to an individual at the completion of enrolment into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
The NIMC captures the digital identity of all citizens and issued them the NIN as their unique digital identity.
The NIN is already a requirement for opening of bank accounts and application for international passport.
The NIN is designed for citizens’ registration as part of government’s national strategy to build database on all citizens for enhanced economic planning and national security.
NIN takes foothold in telecom sector
“Operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.
“The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020),” said a statement by the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde.
According to him, the decision followed an “earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators,” and the outcome of a meeting held earlier this week, convened by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami with key stakeholders in the communications industry
No NIN, No SIM
All SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks. A networks who fails to comply with the new directive risks the withdrawal of its operating license, the regulator warned.