By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to make the process of linking your Subscriber Identification Modules, SIM Card with your National Identity Number, NIN, the Federal government has ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to remove the N20 USSD fee imposed on subscribers for the retrieval of their NIN.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami gave the directive in Abuja on Friday.
In a letter conveying the implementation of the directive, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, and the Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz informed Dr. Pantami that the relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the Mobile Network Operators in that regard.
A statement by the Minister’s media aide, Uwa Suleiman noted that by the waiver subscribers can now retrieve their NIN free of charge.
“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” the statement read.
Recall that the Federal Government had earlier directed that all SIM cards be integrated with NIN for security purposes. However, to check for the NIN, subscribers were previously charged N20 for the retrieval of the NIN.
The N20 fee has now been suspended and the Minister has expressed his appreciation for the efforts of all stakeholders while encouraging them to continue to sacrifice more for the national interest.