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 retrieval of the National Identification Number (NIN).
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who issued the directive, said it’s with immediate effect.
According to a statement by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, on Friday, the minister’s directive is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable.
“The Minister’s directive which takes immediate effect is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable,” the statement said.
“In a letter conveying the implementation of the directive, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC and the Director-General of NIMC informed Dr Pantami that the relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the Mobile Network Operators in that regard.
“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.”
Recall that the Federal Government had earlier directed that all NINs be integrated with Subscriber Identification Modules for security purposes.
It directed network operators to ask all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update their records and suspend SIM registration. It gave December 31, 2020, as deadline for the exercise, after which operators are to block SIM cards with no NIN.
The move sparked outrage as Nigerians questioned the rationale behind the short notice, insisting the timeframe was too short.
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on the NCC to extend the deadline.