Nigeria’s Communication Minister Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on Friday scrapped the 20 Naira (0.053 United States dollar) Unstructured Supplementary Service Data fee imposed on subscribers for National Identity Number (NIN) retrieval requests across all mobile network providers in a bid to make the process smooth and affordable.
Pantami gave the directive after meeting representatives of mobile network operators and agreed that subscribers and applicants can access the drive using the *346# code for their NIN retrieval at no charge for the duration of the NIN or SIM Card integration exercise.
This comes after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the 7th of December 2020 ordered all mobile network operators to suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM cards.
The idea was to curb anomalies in the selling, registration and activation of new SIM cards in the West Africa nation.
On the 14th of December 2020, Pantami met with the Chief Executive Officers and Management of the NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), as well as the CEOs and Management staff of all service providers in the industry.
It was agreed that providing a NIN in form of National Identity Card, Voters’ Card, International Passport or Driver’s License shall be mandatory when registering or activating a new SIM card within a period of two weeks.
“To this end, the following decisions were taken for immediate implementation by all mobile network operators: operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update SIM registration records and the submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks [that is between] December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020,” reads a statement signed by NCC Public Affairs director Ikechukwu Adinde.
“After the deadline, all SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.” he said.