Olayemi Esan, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Identity Management Commission to remove the N20 USSD fee imposed on subscribers for National Identification Number retrieval requests.
In a statement on Friday by the spokesperson for the minister, Uwa Suleiman, the government ordered telcos to stop the deduction for NIN retrieval.
The statement titled, ‘Pantami Orders Cancellation Of NIN Retrieval Charge Across All Networks’, partly read, “The Minister’s directive which takes immediate effect, is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable.
“In a letter conveying the implementation of the directive, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC and the Director-General of NIMC informed Dr Pantami that the relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the Mobile Network Operators in that regard.
“By this waiver, 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.”
It would be recalled that the NCC had recently asked telecommunication service providers to block SIM cards not registered with NIN after two weeks.
The Federal government also listed 173 centres and 30 state government institutions approved for NIN enrolment across Nigeria.
Subscribers who had enrolled for NIN in the past but don’t remember their identification numbers are required to pay a fee for the retrieval.