FG releases new telecoms SIM replacement policy

The Federal Government on Saturday released a new policy for the replacement of Subscriber Identification Modules in the telecommunications sector.

It said the policy was in line with its drive to ensure that all subscriber registrations were linked with National Identification Numbers.

It said all stakeholders in the industry were working together to ensure that the process was carried out as seamlessly as possible.

The new SIM Replacement Policy, which was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, is for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged.

The Federal Government disclosed this in a statement jointly signed by the Director, Public Affairs, National Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, and Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke.

On conditions for replacement of SIMs, the government stated that “the subscriber shall present a NIN; that an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC.

“And that the relevant guidelines and regulations of NCC concerning SIM replacement are fully adhered to.”

The Federal Government had declared on December 15, 2020 that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies shall be blocked.

But it later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement.

The government gave three weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021

It also gave six weeks extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020 to February 9, 2021.

In the statement issued on Saturday, the government appreciated Nigerians for the understanding and commitment demonstrated towards ensuring the overall success of the exercise.

It also said the ministerial task force under the chairmanship of the communications minister set up a technical committee made up of representatives of NCC, NIMC, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria and mobile network operators.

“The technical committee is charged with the operationalisation of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM registration records with NIN,” the statement stated.

It added that it was based on recommendations of the committee that the approved the SIM Replacement Policy.

It said the policy was aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.

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