The Nigerian telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the new regulations to guide any future SIM card replacements.
Highlights of the new regulations include:
- To have your SIM card replaced, you should have in your possession a valid photo identification such as driver’s licence, national identification card, voter card or an identification letter from a traditional ruler and religious leader;
- You must have the SIM pack or other evidence of direct purchase/ownership of the SIM card in question and where that is not available, an affidavit, attesting to the ownership and loss of the SIM, must be provided;
- You can not have your SIM card replaced over the telephone. You must do it on-site;
- If for any reason you decide to send someone to do it on your behalf, the person must come with a Letter of Authorization;
- In case you can not meet the two preceding requirements, a third option is a secure online portal.
The Head of Legal Services at NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye said that the tough process had become necessary to curb fraudulent swapping of SIM cards by people not authorised to do so by genuine SIM card subscribers.
“The guidelines are principally intended to prescribe a standard procedure for SIM replacement to be used by network service providers.
“A proxy will be required to provide an affidavit deposed to by the owner of the SIM, a copy of the deposed subscriber’s means of identification and valid photo identification of the proxy. The proxy shall be required to fill the standard form.
“The network service provider must carry out a quarterly audit of SIM replacement transactions carried out by both its staff and agents and a report forwarded to the commission. All service providers must keep a register of all SIM replacements underneath undertaken for 12 months.”
The guidelines apply to all network service providers and to all subscribers, including post-paid and prepaid subscribers.