Nigeria’s Communication Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has set September 25th as the deadline for registration of all sim cards in the country, after which  pre-registered or partially registered sim cards would cease to exist in the country.

Pantami said this while receiving the Management Team of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in his office. He praised NCC for its prompt action in reducing the number of improperly registered SIM cards from 9.2 million to 2.42 million within one week.

The Details: Stressing the importance of the work, the Minister tasked Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye who led the delegation to his office to ensure that no SIM card is used in the country without proper registration, citing the security implications and the challenges facing the country.

The total number of incomplete registration of SIM cards as it is today based on the report I received is 2.42 million. So the reduction within this period is about 73.2%. This is a significant achievement from 9.2 million. We are back to 2.4 million. Within this period, 6.775 million have been rectified and this is highly commendable,” Pantami said.

He, however, set September 26 as the deadline to clampdown on unregistered sim cards still existing in the country, saying he didn’t want to hear any case of unregistered sims.

By 25 September 2019, we don’t want a single incomplete SIM, meaning that the remaining 2.4 million lines should be rectified before then. We want the management to immediately inform the Telecom companies. After the 25th of September, when a crime is committed and SIM is being used, we only need the number of that SIM and convey it to the regulator. Within an hour, we want to get the details of the person who committed that crime.”

Why this matters: The Minister issued this directive as the Nigerian government continues to clamp down on illegal sim cards used by kidnappers and internet fraudsters to carry out criminal and fraudulent acts. He hoped that this directive would help the commission identify the various criminals that used sim cards for engaging in several crimes.