The Federal Government has approved the opening of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) swap centres in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) nationwide.
A joint statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs at Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, indicated the approval was taken during the fourth review meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on the National Identification Number-SIM registration held on Friday and chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
In addition, the government also approved the extension of the National Identification Number enrolment agent licence tenure for MNOs from one to five years, subject to continuous monitoring.
The extension of the MNOs’ agency was in consideration of their satisfactory performance, as well as to simplify the enrolment process for Nigerians and legal residents.
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
The statement clarified: “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 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.
The minister requested that the NCC, working with the NIMC and MNOs, to design a framework for the establishment of SIM swap/replacement centres in each of the 774 LGAs in the country, starting with critical and feasible locations.