Tuesday , December 7 2021
FG Extends Telcos NIN License Tenure to 5 years, Approves Establishment of SIM Swap Centres

FG Extends Telcos NIN License Tenure to 5 years, Approves Establishment of SIM Swap Centres

…Tasks technical team on new SIM issuance strategy that cannot be compromised

Federal Government has approved the extension of the tenure of NIN Enrolment Agent Licenses for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) from 1 to 5 years in consideration of their satisfactory performance, in which the NIN-SIM registration is subject to continuous monitoring.

This, according to the Federal Government is a deliberate effort to simplify the enrolment process for Nigerians and legal residents.

FG also gave MNOs approval for the establishment of dedicated SIM Swap Centres across the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria.

These resolutions were made at the Ministerial Task Force on the NIN-SIM registration 4th Review Meeting held on Friday. The meeting was Chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Key stakeholders who joined the meeting include the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON). Others included the NCC Executive Commissioners for Technical Services and Stakeholder Management, MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Glo.

The Technical Committee was also mandated to complete the development of a new SIM issuance strategy that cannot be compromised. This will ensure that there is no repeat of the past process that was compromised through pre-registration by some agents.

Furthermore, a Multi-Sectoral Adhoc Committee was tasked to immediately complete the review of the processes for new SIM activations for legal residents staying in Nigeria for less than 24 months. The membership of the Committee was drawn from NCC, NIMC, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

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In addition, MNOs that already have Service Centres in important and critical locations in LGAs, are expected to upgrade these Centres to a level where they can qualify as SIM Swap Centres to reduce the challenges associated with the SIM Swap/Replacement process for the citizens. The purpose is to bring SIM Swap Centres closer to Nigerians regardless of their location.

Speaking further, the Minister tasked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), working with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MNOs, to come up with a framework for the establishment of SIM Swap/Replacement Centres in each of the 774 LGAs in the country, beginning with critical and feasible locations.

The EVC of NCC, Prof Danbatta, briefed the meeting on the outcome of the Senate Investigative Hearing on 5G Deployment in Nigeria, which took place on February 25, 2021.

He extolled the Minister for making an eloquent presentation to dispel fears about the public health and security implications of 5G, as well as making a case for this new technology in the country. All stakeholders agreed on the need for the country to deploy 5G technology.

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR was briefed on the activities of the Ministerial Task Force. He strongly commended the achievement recorded so far and urged the Minister and other stakeholders to maintain the tempo.

The Minister appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise, which has many benefits to the country and its citizens.

He assured of the government’s commitment to continually take decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens concerning issues related to NIN and SIM registration.



About Bukola Olanrewaju

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