Nigerians may soon find it impossible to have more than three sim cards following a new directed by the Minister of Communications Digital Economy.
The National Communication Commission, NCC has been directed to ensure that there should be a maximum number of SIM cards Nigerians should own, possibly a maximum of three.
The directive was given by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami.
The minister gave the directive on Wednesday in a statement signed by his Technical Assistant, Dr Femi Adeluyi, directing the NCC to revise the Policy on SIM Card registration and usage.
The statement also noted that the revision of the Policy is based on the feedback received from the security agencies, following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.
The minister further directed the commission to ensure that the National Identity Number, NIN, becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards, while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used.
According to him, the already registered SIM cards are to be updated with the NIN before December 1, 2020.
“Ensure that only fully accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators;
“There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3;
“Ensure that no unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks;
“Ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks;
“Ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR); and
“Ensure that SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated,” the statement noted.