Just a month after the immediate past Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Isa Pantami was sworn in as Nigeria’s new minister of communications, he has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block all unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.
Communications Minister, Pantami, directs NCC to block 9.2m improperly registered SIM cards https://t.co/3Y6xOx37LH
— Fed Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy (@FMoCDENigeria) September 13, 2019
According to reports, Dr. Isa had earlier enjoined all agencies and parastatals under the ministry to submit their short-term performance reports.
Consequently, the NCC submitted its reports and it was discovered that an estimated nine million two hundred thousand (9.2M) SIM cards did not adhere to the proper procedures of SIM card registration.
As a result, the minister of communications in a statement released on Thursday instructed the network providers, through the NCC, to block all improperly registered SIM cards until the users comply with the proper registration process.
This directive is coming after the NCC had warned network subscribers in June to stop patronising sellers of pre-registered SIM cards as this is a criminal offense and convicts will be fined and jailed if caught.
To avoid barring subscribers from using their SIM cards, MTN had requested its subscribers to re-register their SIM cards in August. Similarly, Airtel had also directed its subscribers to do the same, while 9mobile is currently updating its users’ SIM cards and Globacom is expected to follow soon.
This new development has angered some users as most of them are complaining about having already registered their SIM cards more than once before.
This Minister have no vision.Absolutely no plan!
And he shuld be fired!
How many times shuld pple register SIM cards?
Why not focus on improving standard of living thru effective communication system?
For crying out loud,focus on why the communication breakdown in the country!
— Evabyword! 🇨🇦🇳🇬🇺🇸 (@Evabyword) September 15, 2019
How many times will they do that registration and whose fault is it that the registration is incomplete?
— Kingsley (@Okoyeak) September 15, 2019
The truth is, it is frustrating for Nigerians to go through the process of SIM registration always. I have registered mine and I won't be checking anything again. The Telecom companies should work on their system to do the right thing.
— #KINGofRETWEETS™ ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ (@KingRetweetsL) September 15, 2019
However, to avoid being restricted or barred from using their SIM cards, users are expected to use the USSD codes below to confirm their SIM registration statuses.
- MTN - dial *789*1#
- Airtel - dial *746#
- Glo - text REG to 746 or 3456
Speaking with a 9mobile customer care representative, subscribers need to visit the nearest 9mobile shop to check if their SIM cards have been registered. To check for the nearest shop to you, send SHOP to 200.
For registered SIM cards, subscribers will receive messages from their network providers confirming registration, while others will have to visit the nearest network provider shop to update their SIM cards if it hasn't been registered.