BY SEYIFUNMI LUMEKO
The SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) swap difficulties encountered by subscribers of the various service providers since NIN registration has received the Federal Government attention.
The Federal Government on Wednesday gave approval for the establishment of dedicated Subscriber Identification Module swap centres by Mobile Network Operators across the Local Government Areas.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami requested the NCC, working with the NIMC and MNOs, come up with a framework for the establishment of SIM swap/replacement centres in each of the 774 LGAs in the country, beginning with critical and feasible locations.
Director, Public Affairs at Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Kayode Adegoke stated this in a signed statement.
They arrived at the resolution during the Friday meeting by the Ministerial Task Force on the National Identification Number which was chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami
At the meeting, the FG also approved the extension of the National Identification Number enrollment agent licence tenure for MNOs from one to five years, subject to continuous monitoring.
”This was in consideration of their satisfactory performance, as well as to simplify the enrolment process for Nigerians and legal residents,” the statement read in part.
The minister tasked a multi-sectoral ad-hoc committee drawn from NCC, National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria to immediately complete the review of the processes for new SIM activations for legal residents staying in Nigeria for less than 24 months.
Furthermore, MNOs that already had service centres in critical locations in LGAs, were asked to upgrade the centres to a level where they could qualify as SIM swap centres
“This is in order to reduce the challenges associated with the SIM swap/replacement process for the citizens. The purpose is to bring SIM swap centres closer to Nigerians regardless of their location,” the statement said.
The technical committee was mandated to complete the development of a new SIM issuance strategy that could not be compromised to ensure there was no repeat of the past process that was compromised through pre-registration by some agents.