The directive applies to all mobile operators including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat as FG begins to impose the NIN on all operations related to citizens of Nigeria.
The Nigerian government has ordered mobile telecommunication operators in the country to stop the sale and registration of new SIM cards.
The directive applies to all mobile operators including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat.
The directive was contained in a statement by the communications ministry sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
HERE LIES THE FULL STATEMENT
In line with the Federal Government desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September, 2019, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.
The objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM Card Registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Commission.
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.
However, where it is absolutely necessary, exemption may be granted in writing by the Commission following approval from the Federal Government.
MNOs are to please note that non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
As the Minister has earlier directed in January, 2020, all citizens are urged to immediately secure Digital Identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the Network Operators.
In my own opinion, this is another ploy to force Nigerians to link their SIM cards to their NIN, same way they are forcing it on driver's license.
This new development has a lot of advantages, but the major disadvantage I see is, spying on citizens will become a breeze, we will find ourselves in a situation where you can be tracked with your car plate number, phone number and other means that were not feasible in Nigeria until now.