MTN, Airtel, others resume registration of new SIM Cards in Nigeria April 19

*The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy discloses the issue of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards and other suspended activities can resume in the country Monday, April 19

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following suspension of the exercise for months over apparent security issues in the country, the Federal Government has given MTN Communications, Airtel Africa Plc, and other telecommunication firms the greenlight to resume the sale and registration of new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which disclosed this in a statement Friday, April 16 said that the issue of SIM Cards and other suspended activities could resume Monday, April 19.

A SIM Card registration centre in Abuja, FCT

ConsumerConnect recalls the exercise had been suspended since the commencement of the implementation of a new regulatory policy linking consumers’ SIMs to their National Identification Number (NINs) in the country.

The regulatory authorities had ordered the affected telecom operators to stop activities, including issuance and registration of new SIMs December 2020, citing widespread security concerns amid growth potential in Africa’s most populous country.

The country has battled a deadly Islamist insurgency christened Boko Haram, especially in the North-East of the country for decades.

Authorities later considered the tighter monitoring of mobile-phone use as a potential way to combat the escalating problem.

Earlier, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the industry regulator, had fined MTN Nigeria more than $5 billion in 2015 for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers, triggering a share-price crash and a year of negotiations before a settlement was reached.

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