- The ban on new SIM registration is still in operation
- This is the latest decision of the federal government
- Isa Pantami, the minister of communication and digital economy, said the government has no plan to lift the ban anytime soon
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According to the federal government o Thursday, April 1, the ban on new SIM registration will remain for a long time in Nigeria due to the current insecurity.
From The Nation's report, Pantami disclosed that the government, having prioritised security, took the decision with the aim of protecting citizens from cybercriminals.
“The ban on new SIMs remains in place for security reasons. We know this ban is painful but very necessary.
“In the past, SIM registration processes were compromised, most of the SIMs were improperly registered, hence we have most of the SIMs used to commit crimes in the country.
“So what we are doing now is matching all the SIM cards with NIN. This has become necessary for security purposes."
Earlier, the federal government on Thursday, April 1, revealed the number of Nigerians who had registered for the National Identification Number (NIN) exercise.
According to Pantami, not less than 51 million citizens now have their NINs. Pantami made this revelation during a State House press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, April 1.
Pantami also made it clear that the law compels everyone to take part in the enrollment exercise. He said failure to comply with this directive can attract forfeiture of the right to bank and communication services, added to the possibility of serving a jail term of about 14 years.
Pantami went ahead to note that the NIN registration was the best way to arrive at the accurate population of the country.
Even more, the minister disclosed that 189 million Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) had been captured so far through the enrollment.