The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended the sale, registration and activation of all new GSM SIM cards till further notice.
The Commission in a statement on by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde on Wednesday said the suspension order was based on a directive by the Federal Government.
Adinde explained that the period would allow the government to conduct an audit of subscribers’ data base again.
The statement read: “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, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), 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 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, 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 Government has conveyed the new direction”.
The statement added: “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”, the Commission concluded.