You can now buy and register new SIMs in Nigeria from April 19, 2021

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From April 19, 2021, Nigerians and foreigners alike will be able to buy and register new Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) in Nigeria.

This development followed the Nigerian Federal Government’s resolve to lift the ban on new SIM registration on April 15, 2021.

Dr Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and the Digital Economy, alongside other industry stakeholders, has made the National Identity Number (NIN) mandatory for acquiring and activating new SIMs for individuals, corporates, and SIM replacement.

Corporate organisations will now need to appoint a Telecoms Master at the executive management level to provide the operational primary NIN representation for the company’s lines.

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For Internet of Things (IoT)/Machine-to-Machine devices, the government will enforce SIM security protocols to ensure that the SIM will only work for point-to-point data services and bar all other SIM services.

Standard NIN registrations will apply for individuals using the SIM for IoT devices such as home/car tracking, WiFi, or MiFi services. The Telecoms Master will handle the IoT registration for corporate companies.

Recall that in December 2020, the Nigerian government banned the sale of new SIM cards and mandated every Nigerian to link their NIN to their SIMs or risk getting barred.

The policy has affected individuals, businesses, and subscribers for telecom companies have dropped drastically. The forced instances of crowds for NIN registrations have coincided with an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The government promises to provide more details on the policy, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates. If you haven’t registered for your NIN, read this story, and try to get yours as soon as possible.


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