On Wednesday December 9th 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued a statement informing all the telecom companies in Nigeria (i.e., MTN, GLO, Airtel, and 9Mobile) to immediately suspend all sale, registration, and activation of new SIM cards for their customers.
According to the brief statement that was signed by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs (Dr Ikechukwu Adinde), the government “directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.”
To this end, the suspension of all sale, registration, and activation of new SIM cards by the telcos, as ordered by the NCC, must remain in effect until the audit process is completed.
However, the NCC also made a provision for exemptions in the event that it is absolutely necessary that a customer must get a new SIM.
Recall that the Nigerian Government had in 2014 embarked on a nation-wide SIM registration exercise, in a bid to have a reliable database of users. MTN Nigeria had also recently been fined heavily for fraudulent SIM card registration.
Speaking of MTN, the leading telco is taking the order by the NCC very seriously. In a regulatory filing which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange earlier today as seen by Nairabrands, MTN said it “has suspended the sale, registration and activation of new SIM cards across all touchpoints” in accordance with the directive.”