The Federal Government has ordered the removal of the ₦20 charged for the retrieval of the National Identification Number (NIN) using the *346# code.
The new directive was given today by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami. According to him, Telcos are to stop charging for the retrieval of NIN with immediate effect.
This new development comes after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued a directive mandating all mobile network operators to deactivate all SIM cards registered without a valid NIN before the end of the year.
According to the minister, the waiver was an intervention aimed at making the adding NIN to sim registration process easier and affordable.
The statement released by the ministry explained that relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the Mobile Network Operators.
With the new directive, all Nigerians can now retrieve their the NIN using the *346# service code from now till the end of the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise.
Meeting the 2-weeks deadline
Over the last month, the NCC in line with its new SIM card policy has been issuing directives to audit of the Subscribers Registration Database.
First, the agency directed all operators including MTN and Airtel to completely suspend the sale and registration of new SIM cards pending the thorough audit of the Subscribers Registration Database.
That was followed with the recent two-week deadline for the compulsory inclusion of National Identification Number (NIN), a mandatory requirement to register SIM cards in the country.
Due to the large number of telecom users without NIN, the latest deadline has sparked diverse reactions from Nigerians.
On Wednesday, The House of Representatives was the first to call on the National Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the 31st December deadline
According to the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, two weeks is too short for 200 million Nigerians to conclude the process. The house wants the process to be extended to 10 weeks, considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in attaining the NIN.
While we wait for the NCC to respond to the House request, the new waiver will encourage more Nigerians to hasten the integration of their NIN to their sim cards.
Notably, mobile telcos like MTN have started introducing digital solutions to ensure the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise is fast and seamless.
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