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FG, telecom operators to meet over court judgement stopping SIM blocking deadline

Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Telecoms operators confirmed that the government was making progress with the NIN enrollments and its linking to SIM cards.



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The Federal Government is scheduled to meet with telecommunications operators and other key stakeholders in the sector over the recent court judgement which stopped the government from going on with its earlier plan to disconnect SIM cards not linked to National Identity Numbers (NIN) by April 6.

The meeting which is planned to hold before the expiration of the deadline is to consider the recent court ruling and look at available options.

According to a report, officials of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and operators in the telecommunications sector confirmed that the government was making progress with the NIN enrollments and its linking to SIM cards.

READ: Telecom operators say 21 million subscribers are still without NINs

In the suit filed by a former second National Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and human rights lawyer, Monday Ubani, the first to fourth defendants included the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

An official of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy who wished to remain anonymous said, “These are issues that will be addressed in the meeting that will come up before the April 6 deadline.’’

Also confirming the planned meeting is the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Ikechukwu Nnamani, who stated that the Communications Minister would make public the decision of the government on the April 6 deadline soon.

READ: Minister discloses that 7 SIM cards can be linked to one NIN

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Nnamani said, “The Minister will make a determination on it when it gets close to the time. There will be an implementation review meeting just before the due date to ascertain if it is necessary to extend the time.

“However, we encourage everyone to go and get their NIN and not assume it will be extended.”

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What you should know

It can be recalled that the Federal Government, on December 15, 2020, directed telecommunication companies to block from their network, any SIM that is not registered with valid NINs with effect from December 30, 2020.

However, following public outcry and criticisms especially with respect to the short notice, the government gave 6 weeks extension to subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, and 3 weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2020.

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READ: FG reveals plans to replace BVN with NIN

This was further extended on February 2, 2021, to April 16, following further calls for a deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to large crowds.

A Federal High Court in Lagos State had on March 23, 2021, barred the Federal Government from blocking SIM cards not linked to National Identity Numbers next month in a suit filed by the former Second National Vice President of the NBA, Monday Ubani.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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FAAC payment: Obaseki replies Finance Minister, says FG should end monetary rascality

Governor Obaseki has urged the FG to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality



Edo State to build Museum, set for more Benin Bronze returns in 2021, Over 13,000 MSMEs benefit from Edo State Government fund 

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki responded to allegations by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, over FAAC top-up in March, saying that the state will not “join issues with the Minister” but urges the FG to end the current monetary rascality.

The Edo State Governor disclosed this in a statement on Thursday morning, stating that:

  • While we do not want to join issues with the Finance Ministry, we believe it is our duty to offer useful advice for the benefit of our country.
  • The Finance Minister should rally Nigerians to stem the obvious fiscal slide facing our country.
  • Rather than play the Ostrich, we urge the government to take urgent steps to end the current monetary rascality, so as to prevent the prevailing economic challenge from degenerating further.

The Governor added that he believes the imperative to approach the Nigerian project “with all sense of responsibility and commitment and not play to the gallery”.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics reported that The Nigerian Government stated the claim made by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that N60 billion was printed as top-up for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the month of March is untrue.

“What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated by NNPC, FIRS, Customs… It is not true to say we printed money to distribute at FAAC,” Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said.

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Shoprite: Nigerian company, Persianas to take over operations

Persianas, a Nigerian property group, will take over Shoprite’s operations in Nigeria at the conclusion of a bidding process.



Shoprite’s sales drop by 8.1% in Nigeria in H2 2019 over Xenophobic attacks

Nigerian property group, Persianas, will take over Shoprite’s operations in Nigeria after a bidding process was concluded. The company is reportedly arranging debt to finalise the deal.

This was disclosed in an exclusive report by Reuters on Wednesday. According to the report, the deal was confirmed by banking sources.

What the report says

  • Persianas Properties emerged as the buyer after a bidding process, and the company is arranging debt for the buyout.
  • MBO Capital and KPMG advised Persianas, while FBNQuest is arranging debt.

Bloomberg also reported that Shoprite’s owners valued its sale at N30 billion; however, the deal between Persianas and Shoprite remains undisclosed.

READ: NSE fines Mortgage bank, Conoil, others over N1 billion for account filing default

What you should know

Persianas Group owns the Palms Shopping Mall in Lagos, which also contains a Shoprite outlet.

Recall Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) had said it was not aware that Shoprite was exiting Nigeria, but that there was a pending application for a merger/acquisition involving it.

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