THE federal government has approved the establishment of centres for the replacement of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards across all local governments in the country.
The approval was contained in a statement jointly signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, director of public affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Kayode Adegoke head of corporate communications, Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), concerning the resolution of the Ministerial Taskforce on NIN-SIM registration on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the resolution was made during the task force’s meeting held on Friday, February 26, 2021, chaired by Isa Pantami, minster of communication and digital economy.
The task force also gave approval for the extension of the tenure of NIN Enrolment Agent Licenses for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) from one to five years in consideration of their satisfactory performance.
It was resolved that the technical committee complete the development of a new SIM issuance strategy that could not be compromised.
The statement further read that a multi-sectoral ad hoc committee be tasked to complete the review of the processes for new SIM activations for legal residents staying in Nigeria for fewer than 24 months.
Pantami charged the NCC, working with the 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 committee members were to be drawn from NCC, NIMC, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
It was further resolved that service centres in important and critical locations in LGAs upgrade the centres to a level where they could qualify as SIM Swap Centres in order to reduce the challenges associated with the SIM Swap/Replacement process for the citizens.
The ICIR had reported the travails of some Nigerians caught between the ban on SIM swap and activation of a new SIM card in Nigeria. A ban was placed on SIM replacement and activation in Nigeria as part of a measure to curb insurgency in the country.