The Federal Government has through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, said that the implementation of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration will commence on Monday, 19th of April 2021.
It also added that the issuance of New SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to.
Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said in a statement on Thursday that the Honourable Minister has also directed NCC and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the Policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said that significant progress has been made in the NIN registration process across the country and reiterated its commitment to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN.
While admitting that though the biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards, it assured that the Revised Policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.
Recall that in line with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, Section 23(a), which specifies the role of the Minister to include the formulation, determination and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami coordinated and led the development of a Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration in collaboration with all other stakeholders.
Recall also that an earlier Policy was approved on the 4th of February 2020, while the Revised Policy was developed in early March 2021.
The final amendments to the revised Policy based on the directives of President Buhari to make the use of NIN mandatory for all SIM registration were completed on Wednesday, 14th of April, 2021.
But in a statement on Thursday signed by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Federal Government stated that the Revised Policy includes Guidelines on New SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM Replacement, New SIM Activation for Corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), amongst others.
“The Guidelines in the Policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in National interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource.
“Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country,” the statement read in part.
The statement further revealed that the possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories.
“For the Corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation. The Telecoms Master will also be responsible to ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.
“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.
“In the event that a data-only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring IoT/M2M activations,” the statement further explained.
The full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course.
The statement quoted Dr Pantami as expressing thanks to Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise and reiterated the government’s commitment to continue taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.