All the network providers operating in Nigeria have been directed to stop the registration of new SIM cards purchased by their customers with immediate effect.
This directive was given by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the reason is to allow another audit of the subscriber registration database.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Mr Ikechukwu Adinde, further disclosed that from the audit exercise, the regulator will verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
According to him, this is in line with the federal government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM card registration exercise of September 2019.
The statement noted that in a situation where it is absolutely necessary for a new SIM card to be registered, a request would be sent to the NCC for approval.
The NCC stressed that the suspension is not indefinite as registration of new SIM cards would resume after the conclusion of the audit.
“Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and the government has conveyed the new direction,” a part of the statement said.
The agency warned operators that “non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.”