FG approves creation of SIM Swap Centres by MNOs in 774 LGAs, extension of Enrolment License Tenure

Posted by News Express | 4 March 2021 | 827 times

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•Communications Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami


The Ministerial Task Force on the NIN-SIM registration said the federal government has given its approval for the establishment of SIM Swap Centres across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country by MNOs.

Also, the federal government gave its endorsement for the extension of the tenure of NIN Enrolment Agent Licenses for MNOs from 1 to 5 years in consideration of their satisfactory performance, subject to continuous monitoring.

The establishment of dedicated SIM Swap Centres is a deliberate effort of the federal government to simplify the enrolment process for Nigerians and legal residents.

In its 4th Review Meeting held on Friday, February 26, 2021, presided over by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and attended by critical stakeholders, other key resolutions were reached.

During the meeting all stakeholders did not only endorsed the controversial 5G technology but also favoured its adoption by the country.

“All stakeholders agreed on the need for the country to deploy 5G technology,” a statement jointly signed by NCC and NIMC disclosed.

The stakeholders which included the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), NCC Executive Commissioners for Technical Services and Stakeholder Management, MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL, Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Glo, decided among others; “that a Technical Committee be mandated to complete the development of a new SIM issuance strategy that cannot be compromised”.

The essence is to ensure that there is no repeat of the past process that was compromised through pre-registration by some agents.

Also, a Multi-Sectoral Adhoc Committee was tasked to immediately complete the review of the processes for new SIM activations for legal residents staying in Nigeria for less than 24 months.

Membership of the Committee was drawn from NCC, NIMC, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

The press statement jointly signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde    Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission and Mr Kayode Adegoke, Head, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Identify Management Commission said however, MNOs that already have Service Centres in important and critical locations in LGAs, are expected to upgrade these Centres to a level where they can qualify as SIM Swap Centres in order to reduce the challenges associated with the SIM Swap/Replacement process for the citizens.

It said the purpose is to bring SIM Swap Centres closer to Nigerians regardless of their location.

The minister also tasked the NCC working with NIMC and MNOs, to come up with a framework for the establishment for SIM Swap/Replacement Centres in each of the 774 LGAs in the country, beginning with critical and feasible locations.

The EVC of NCC, Prof Danbatta, briefed the meeting on the outcome of the Senate Investigative Hearing on 5G Deployment in Nigeria, which took place on February 25, 2021.

He extolled the Minister’s presentation that dispelled fears about the public health and security implications of 5G, as well as making a case for this new technology in the country.

Furthermore, it said President Muhammadu Buhari was briefed on the activities of the Ministerial Task Force.

Danbatta added that Buhari “strongly commended the achievement recorded so far and urged the Minister and other stakeholders to maintain the tempo”.

“The Honourable Minister also appreciated Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise, which has many benefits to the country and its citizens.

“He assured of government’s commitment to continually take decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration,” the statement stressed.

Source: News Express

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