Nigeria government, telecom bodies collaborate on rapid digital ID issuance to unblock SIMs
Nigeria’s National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) will work with the country’s telecom authority and main industry body to unblock SIMs that were suspended when the deadline for linking them to digital ID numbers passed, reports local outlet TheCable.
The initiative was revealed by Adejumoke Ajala, who is head of regulatory services for the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), in remarks at the ‘Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF22).’
He says the group is daily communication with NIMC and the National Communication Commission (NCC) following the block of about 72 million mobile accounts that were not registered with the biometrics-backed National Identification Number (NIN). The blocks have also prompted a legal challenge.
The situation is described by Ajala as a “major challenge,” but he says the stakeholders are working together to rapidly issue digital IDs and remove restrictions on associated accounts.
“As soon as possible, I am sure things like this will thin out. Right now, it is really tough, knowing that the hammer hit a few weeks ago,” Ajala said, according to TheCable.
“We hope that as soon as NIMC understands its process and they are able to give us access to do a lot of bulk verifications, we would be able to see that things like that work a bit seamlessly.”