FG orders cancellation of NIN retrieval charge for SIM registration

The Federal Government has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to remove the N20 USSD fee imposed on subscribers for NIN retrieval on mobile networks.

Nigeria’s minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Ali Pantami gave the directive on Friday, and will take effect immediately.

A statement by Uwa Suleiman, his spokesperson, said Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Aliyu Aziz, director-general of NIMC, had met with relevant stakeholders and negotiated a waiver with mobile network operators.

Nigerians who subscribee to MTN, Airtel, 9mobile, and Glo networks has been advised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to retrieve their NIN on their phones by dialling the short code *346#.

“By this waiver, all Nigerians, subscribers and applicants can access the service using the *346# code for their NIN retrieval at no charge for the duration of the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise,” the statement read.

Pantami commended the efforts of stakeholders in promoting national interest.

Already, the government had also licensed 173 centres and 30 state government institutions to conduct enrolment of all persons including legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB).

The Federal Government had earlier in the week directed that all National Identification Numbers be integrated with Subscriber Identification Modules for security reason. And in making good the order, NCC had asked telecommunications companies to block SIM cards not registered with NIN by December 30.

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