The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that registration of new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards will now require the presentation of the National Identity Number (NIN).
NCC, which said the enforcement of the new rule takes effect soon, noted that the move became necessary following the rising criminality in the country.
According to its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, the policy is in line with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 relating to NIN regulations, which provide that a person must provide his/her unique number to register a SIM card.
Consequently, Danbatta said the NCC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, had set in motion mechanisms for compliance.
Meanwhile, Nigeria added 1.95 million new subscribers to its networks between July and August.
Speaking at the third yearly conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at the weekend in Lagos, Danbatta, who was represented by the Head, Online Media and Special Publication, Omoniyi Ibietan, promised that all avenues must be explored to cage the rising cases of insecurity in the country.
The event was themed â€œEconomy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward.â€
The EVC said: â€œPermit me to quickly take you through a few things that the NCC, as the countryâ€™s independent telecommunications regulatory authority, has been doing towards engendering security of lives and property for economic development in our country.
â€œThis will be discussed under the sub-theme, â€˜NCC, SIM Registration, Security and National Developmentâ€™.â€
According to him, the Nigerian telecoms industry, in the past 18 years, has recorded tremendous growth.
Danbatta added: â€œToday, the number of active telephone lines in the country is about 175 million, representing a tele-density of 91.65 per cent. The number of Internet users is 122.6 million, while broadband penetration currently stands at 35 per cent. The cumulative investment profile in the sector is over $70 billion.
â€œAt 11.39 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecoms sub-sector remains a major actor in the national economy.
â€œIndeed, as at the second quarter of 2019, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectorâ€™s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent.
â€œToday, the positive impact of the telecoms sector, either voice or data, resonates in other sectors of the economy.â€
The NCC boss pledged that his organisation remained committed to using telecoms to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government, which are, to improve the economy, enhance lives and property, as well as fight corruption.