Nigerian Communications Commission NCC has suspended the sale or registration of a new subscriber identity module SIM cards by telecoms operators.

The Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja said the suspension order was in line with the Federal Government’s desire to consolidate achievement of the SIM card registration exercise of September last year.

The statement read in part, “The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database again.”

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde expalioned that the objective of the audit exercise was to verify and ensure compliance by Mobile Network Operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Accordingly to him, Mobile Network Operators are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded.

He cautioned Mobile Network Operators that non-compliance with the directive would be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.

The director maintained that the minister had in January 2020 directed all citizens to immediately secure Digital Identification from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and submit it to the network operators.