• Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has updated Nigeria's sim card registration and usage policy.
  • The new rules include stopping mobile phone users in Nigeria from using more than three SIM cards and making the National Identity Number (NIN) a compulsory requirement for SIM card registration.
  • Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa has compiled everything you need to know about the latest regulations.

Nigeria's sim card registration and usage policy has some new updates.

The latest regulation made by the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, in a directive to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has the following additions:

  • Nigerian mobile phone users can no longer have over three SIM cards. 

“There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of three,” the new rule states.

Nigerian mobile phone users can no longer have over three SIM cards
Nigerian mobile phone users can no longer have over three SIM cards
BusinessInsider USA Images
  • For Nigerians, no new SIM can be registered without the individual's National Identity Number (NIN).
  • Foreigners will have to use their passport/visa number to register their sims.

According to Pantami's directive, “The updated policy is expected to ensure that the National Identity Number becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards (while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used)."

Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami [Twitter/@DrIsaPantami]
Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami [Twitter/@DrIsaPantami]

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Here is why the policy has been updated

The minister has revealed his reasons for revising the SIM card registration and usage policy.

Explaining the need for this review, he said these new rules are mostly for security reasons and to adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.

“The revision of the policy is based on the feedback received from the security agencies following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs,” the statement said.

NCC vows to end use of pre-registered SIM cards in Nigeria - Official [sundiatapost]
NCC vows to end use of pre-registered SIM cards in Nigeria - Official [sundiatapost]

It will also “ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks.”

Users of existing users are expected to update their details with their NINs before December 1, 2020.