Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Pantami orders suspension of sales, activation of new SIM Cards

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami, has directed all the Mobile Network Operators, MNOs, to halt the sales, registration or activation of new SIM Cards in the country.

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The minister’s directive was contained in a statement on Wednesday by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

According to the statement, the move is in line with the Federal Government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September, 2019.

The minister also directed the NCC to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.

The statement said: “The objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM Card Registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Commission.

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“Accordingly, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and Government has conveyed the new direction.”

The statement, however, said that where it is absolutely necessary, exemption might be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.

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“MNOs are to please note that non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.

“As the Minister has earlier directed in January, 2020, all citizens are urged to immediately secure Digital Identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the Network Operators,” the statement added.

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