The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all mobile network operators (MNOs) to immediately suspend registration and activation of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards. In October, about 285 million SIM cards had been connected in Nigeria whereas 207 million were active.
The Commission said that the objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by MNOs with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as well as NCC.
Accordingly, “MNOs are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and Government has conveyed the new direction.”
The regulator, however, said that where it is absolutely necessary, an exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.
It noted that violation of the directive would be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license. It noted that as directed in January, all citizens are urged to immediately secure digital identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the network operators.