Henceforth, registration of new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards will now require the use of National Identity Number (NIN).
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) who made the declaration also said that the new rule will take effect soon as it is imperative following recurrent criminal behaviours.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the policy is in line with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 relating to NIN regulations, which mandates that a person must provide his/her unique number to register a SIM card.
According to Danbatta, the NCC is working with relevant stakeholders to set in motion mechanisms for compliance.
Meanwhile, between July and August, Nigeria added 1.95 million new subscribers to its networks.
Speaking at the third yearly conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at the weekend in Lagos, Danbatta, who was represented by the Head, Online Media and Special Publication, Omoniyi Ibietan, promised that all avenues must be explored to cage the rising cases of insecurity in the country.
The EVC at the event which was themed Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward, said: “Permit me to quickly take you through a few things that the NCC, as the country’s independent telecommunications regulatory authority, has been doing towards engendering security of lives and property for economic development in our country.
“This will be discussed under the sub-theme, ‘NCC, SIM Registration, Security and National Development’.”
According to Danbatta, the Nigerian telecoms industry, in the past 18 years, has recorded tremendous growth. Danbatta further said: “Today, the number of active telephone lines in the country is about 175 million, representing a teledensity of 91.65 per cent. The number of Internet users is 122.6 million, while broadband penetration currently stands at 35 per cent. The cumulative investment profile in the sector is over $70 billion.
“At 11.39 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecoms sub-sector remains a major factor in the national economy. “Indeed, as in the second quarter of 2019, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent.
“Today, the positive impact of the telecoms sector, either voice or data, resonates in other sectors of the economy.”
However, the NCC boss pledged that his organisation will continue to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government with the use of telecoms, which includes, ameliorating the economy, enhancing lives and property and also tackling corruption.