JUST IN: NCC Rejigs SIM Registration with Strict Conditions & Tightens Foreigner Nationals Requirements

In setting the business rules for implementation of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration and related activities in the Nigerian telecommunication’s industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) introduced new requirements while also tightening conditions for foreign nationals.


In a document released by the Commission, and sighted by TechnologyMirror, “Business Rules & Operational Processes for Implementation of the Registration of Communications Subscribers Regulations”, all subscribers with Bank Verification Number (BVN) generated NIN are now required to update their biometrics at NIMC offices before such NIN can be used for SIM card registration.

According to the NCC, where BVN generated NIN is flagged by NIMC, the mobile network operator shall not conduct sale of New SIM and MNP for Individual and Corporate (IoT/M2M) subscriber but shall however be advice the Subscriber to return to NIMC office for regularisation.

The NCC now mandates that the subscriber’s consent shall be required prior to the harmonisation and updating of the individual and corporate subscriber’s SIM registration data record with NIMC data record adding that in the case of SIM registration harmonisation for existing subscribers, where biometric details need to be updated, the subscriber shall be required to physically visit the service center of the network operator.

The Commission has also directed that record of all recycled SIMs shall be purged of any NIN attached, to allow new subscriber register or submit and link a new NIN.

The document revealed that the NCC has also adjusted the requirement for Foreigners who wish to activate New SIM (which includes subscription medium), and perform MNP (porting of numbers).

The new requirements stated that NIN is mandatory for Foreigners with legal residency status or those living in Nigeria for two years and above saying that for those who do not already have a NIN, the network operator shall capture the resident’s details for NIN issuance as part of the NIN enrolment process, upon presentation of residents permits.

However, foreigners with Visitor’s visas (with visa less than two years) do not require a NIN but the network operator is required to capture their records prior to New SIM activations and MNP: International passport biodata page; and Visa page.

The NCC in the document stated that the data page containing the passport number of the diplomatic passport of the Head of Mission/Embassy along with a Letter of Request signed by the Ambassador or its equivalent for registration of the official telephone lines of the Embassy/Mission in Nigeria must be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for verification and confirmation and registration of the SIM card.

However, any foreign member of a diplomatic mission requiring SIMs for personal use shall go through the Verification Service to confirm and authenticate such identity based on the rules defined by the NCC.

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