MTN, Glo, others risk more sanctions over unverified subscriber NIN

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has recommended a punishment of N200,000 for mobile communications service providers who do not verify and confirm each subscriber’s biometric, National Identity Number, and other personal information.

This was stated in a proposed draft regulation on telephone subscriber registration for 2020, which was recently published on the NCC’s website.

The draft document read in part, “Any licensee who fails to capture, or who pre registers, register, deregister or transmit the details of any individual or corporate subscribers to the Central Database as specified in these Regulations or as may be stipulated from time to time by the Commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each subscription medium.

“A licensee who activates any Subscription Medium without capturing, registering and transmitting the personal information to the Central Database commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N200,000.00 for each unregistered activated Subscription Medium.

“A licensee who fails to verify and validate biometric, NIN and other personal information before activation is liable to a penalty of N200, 000 for each subscription medium in breach of these requirements.”

According to the regulation, mobile service providers will be fined per subscription medium if they allow subscribers to make and receive calls, send and receive short message services, and other services typically provided by such operators without first verifying the subscribers’ personal information, including NIN.

It was after an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry convened by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) on Monday, December 14, 2020, it was agreed that all telecom operators must from Thursday, December 16, 2020 require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records.

In July, 2021, the federal government extended the deadline for the third time to October 31, 2021.

The decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, foreigners and diplomatic missions, Diaspora and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment statistics.

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