LEGAL/POLICY

Nigeria: MNOs Prepared To Handle Synchronisation Of NIN/SIM Data

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  • Assure Of Appropriate Processes, Infrastructure To Handle Exercise

By Clifford Agugoesi, Editor-in-Chief

Sequel to the recent directives by telecommunications sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), regarding the SIM registration process, mobile operators have responded rapidly by putting in place the processes and infrastructure necessary to enable them incorporate existing National Identity Numbers (NINs) into the current SIM registration data and support subscriber enrolment into the National Identity database.

A press statement from the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigera(ALTON), inked by its Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Publicity Secretary, Damian Udeh, respectively, says the association is continuing to work closely with the government to deliver on the task ahead of it and is committed to making the process as seamless as possible for all MNO customers.

It will be recalled that the Chairman of ALTON, and the CEO’s of MNO members of ALTON are part of a Ministerial Task Force responsible for implementing the directives as the industry works together to find a sustainable solution to this national assignment.

Licensing as NIN enrolment agents

The statement also said All MNO’s have now received an enrolment and verification license from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) or via the NCC, legally enabling them to verify NIN’s provided by customers and to enrol citizens into the NIN database.

Adding NINs to existing SIM registrations

“All operators have established various systems to enable subscribers with existing NINs to add their NIN’s to their SIM registration profile. Options deployed for customer ease and convenience include USSD strings, apps and other self-service online portals, walk-in stores and customer care lines,” stated ALTON, while noting it is important “that we do expect that when SIM registration details are verified against the NIN database, there are likely to be inconsistencies in some of the data captured e.g. Spelling, order or number of names captured etc. Where such inconsistencies are found, the operators will notify subscribers and provide a quick and easy mechanism to update SIM registration data and ensure alignment.”

Integration with NIMC

To facilitate the validation, verification and enrolment processes and having now been licenced by NIMC to provide those services, ALTON says operators have commenced the process of backend integration with NIMC’s database and increasing the capacity of the respective databases thus enabling more rapid validation and verification.

Practicalities of NIN registration

The statement further says that to provide operational steer, representatives of NCC, NIMC, ALTON and MNOs will also be meeting regularly to review progress, identify challenges, develop solutions and generally continue to enhance the process with a view to ensuring the safety, security and well-being of MNOs customers while making significant progress towards the collective objective of the industry. ALTON says it welcomes the recently announced extension of the deadline for registration and reiterates its commitment to ensuring the maximum level of compliance possible within the set timeframe.

“We continue to seek for your cooperation and understanding,” ALTON said.

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