Nigeria lifts ban on SIM Card replacement for NIN holders
By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria has again readjusted its policy on SIM Card database update as it lifted the earlier suspension order on replacement and activation of old Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card for subscribers with NIN.
What that means is that person who have already enrolled and obtained the National Identification Number (NIN) could now replace their lost or damaged SIM card with their telecoms service providers.
“Further to engagements with government on the matter, we are pleased to report that our members have been granted permission to carry out SIM replacement upon verification of the customer’s NIN,” The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said in a statement.
“In this regard, our members are working with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure seamless system connectivity for verification of NINs,” ALTON stated.
The statement, which was signed by ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo and its Publicity Secretary, Damian Udeh stated that; “We note the challenges experienced by customers seeking to replace or upgrade their SIM cards following the suspension of sale and activation of SIM cards by the government which also affected SIM replacement.
“We empathise with people who have been unable to reactivate their phone lines as a result of the suspension.
“We, therefore, seek the continued patience and understanding of our esteemed subscribers as we work with all stakeholders towards speedy resolution of issues affecting SIM “Registration/Swap and activation. We assure you of restoring normal services in a seamless and effective manner as soon as possible.”
The government had on December 9, ordered the suspension of issuance and registration of new SIM Card by telecoms firms and subsequently directed that subscribers should update their database with NIN.
The government said the action became necessary in line with the federal government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September 2019.
The suspension order was expected to last till the completion of the audit of the Subscriber Registration Database, which seeks to achieve global standards and quality in the issuance of SIM Cards.