The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says Nigerians should get a national identity number and submit to their network operators.
The commission disclosed this on Wednesday in a revised statement announcing the suspension of sales and reactivation of new SIM cards.
Earlier, the commission suspended sales and reactivation of new SIM cards because of an audit of the subscriber registration database.
Telcos were directed to suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards on their network until the audit exercise is completed.
“All citizens are urged to immediately secure digital identification from the National Identity Management Commission and submit it to the network operators,” the statement read.
The NIN is a form of identification introduced by the federal government and managed by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
It is currently a prerequisite for getting an international passport.
The NIMC is currently harmonizing the NIN and the bank verification number (BVN), and has set a five-year target to register all Nigerians after a $430 million World Bank loan for the Nigeria digital identification for a development project.
The BVN is a prerequisite to owning a bank account and it is used to link all bank and pension accounts owned by an individual.
A statement released by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC director for public affairs, on Wednesday, said the directive became necessary against the background of the “preponderance of pre-registered SIMs with the attendant security implications associated with the use of same to facilitate criminal activities”