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There are now New Rules Concerning SIM Card Ownership | Check Them Out



So many of us walk around with two phones and four sims, just so we can keep up with, well, different things. Maybe fluctuating network, or perhaps cheaper calls.

Well, that may not be possible anymore, with the new rule the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced.

Nigerian will not be permitted to own and register more than three phone lines, according to a new directive handed down to the NCC by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami.

According to The Nation, registration of new SIM cards are also now to be accompanied with a subscriber’s National Identity Number (NIN), while all already registered SIM cards are to be updated with the identity numbers of the owner before December 1, 2020. This is a part of new security measures by the Federal Government.

The revised policy will ensure that, henceforth, the National Identity Number will become a compulsory requirement for registration of new SIM cards in the country, the directive states.

Similarly, foreigners will have to use their passport and or visa numbers to register SIM cards. The statement read:

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to revise the Policy on SIM Card registration and usage. This is in line with the Powers of the Minister as stated in Section 25(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003- “the Minister shall, in writing, from time to time notify the Commission or and express his views on the general policy direction of the Federal Government in respect of the communications sector.

The revision of the Policy is based on the feedback received from the security agencies following the successful revalidation of improperly registered SIM cards in September 2019 and the blocking of those that failed to revalidate their SIMs.

The updated Policy is expected to include the following provisions, amongst others:
Ensure that the National Identity Number (NIN) becomes a prerequisite for Nigerians registering new SIM cards (while for foreigners, their passports and visas should be used), while already registered SIM cards are to be updated with National Identity Number (NIN) before 1st December, 2020.

Ensure that only fully accredited agents support the SIM card registration process without pre-registering SIM cards themselves, while the eventual registration should be done by the operators. There should be a maximum number of SIM cards that can be tied to a single individual, possibly a maximum of 3. Ensure that no unregistered SIMs are ever allowed on mobile networks; Ensure that subscribers can easily check the number of SIM cards registered to their name, along with the associated phone numbers and networks.

Ensure that mobile network operators fortify their networks against cyberattacks and ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and Ensure that SIM cards that have been used to perpetrate crimes are permanently deactivated. The NCC is to provide the Honourable Minister with progress reports on the implementation of the revised Policy.


  1. by_stander

    February 6, 2020 at 1:01 pm


    So what happens if your sim card is damaged or stolen?

    Or more importantly if you feel like changing your number in future, be it for security, privacy or cosmetic reasons?

    We have not even started discussing multiple devices that will each require a sim card, like car tracking, tablets, laptop, dongle, hotspot e.t.c

    Or is this article incomplete? because this sounds like another set of moronic rent-seekers making policies to help themselves create a monopoly.

  2. by_stander

    February 6, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I can even understand you want people to register sim-cards with a Valid-ID, which one is limit their sim card to 3 are you a mad person?

    The NIN sef they are giving it to all sort of people, and asking for your signature to do it on their form.

    What part of what the Nigerian constitution says on privacy and property don’t you understand?

    And I haven’t even started discussing the anti-competition, meaning that a new teleco-entrant into the telecommunications market can not get new customers or at-least it becomes really difficult for them, which will further result in less investments and the people suffering from lack of innovation and competitive pricing.

    Please what is the educational background of these people and who are they? because it’s like you wake-up in Nigeria and another idiot has created a half-baked policy over-night.

    meanwhile they are collecting steady salary from the people they are frustrating.


    February 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Minister of Communication. your statement is illegal and unconstitutional. You have over stepped your boundary with such statement. i don’t know if you have a problem with writing or speaking the English language. Someone in your position can not afford to make such a terrible mistake like yours.Let me remind you. We (Nigerians) are your contemporaries not your wards. Those statements are okay when you are speaking with or talking to any of your wives and Children. SIM cards are not being gifted to us for free by the Nigerian government. We actually have to pay for them from our respective pockets. It’s only our financial ability that can limit the number of SIM cards we can actually own. Not you, nor your boss President Buhari. Please, withdraw and rewrite your initial statement to prove to the entire world that you are not one power drunk minister from Nigeria. Put up or shape up. A word is enough for the wise. I”
    m just saying.


    February 10, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Our backward thinking, power drunk government appointed officials, who instead of doing what is right by the people has suddenly decided to bite the fingers which elected the president who nominated them to their position. They have the option of forcing the cellular phone companies operating in Nigeria to repair their bad Networks. DOING THIS, will almost immediately take care of the question of Nigerians having multiple SIM cards. But when you Nigeria government official continue to collect bribes from cellular companies without stopping will practically make it impossible to solve the problem of multiple SIM cards
    ownership. Registration of SIM cards important. But we certainly does not need a crooked government official thinking he has the power to force us to limit us to the number of SIM cards we purchased with our money. Now you know. A word is enough for the wise. ‘m just saying.

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