Network providers across the different telecommunications networks in Lagos State say they have yet to receive approval to resume registration of new SIM cards.

The Federal Government had suspended the registration of new SIM cards in December 2020 and lifted the ban with effect from April 19.

But a visit by the News Agency of Nigeria to the customer service outlets of some telecom companies on Friday showed that no SIM card registration was being done, as most subscribers who requested for new SIM cards were turned down.

Some workers at different network stores in some parts of Surulere and Lagos Island, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had yet to get approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission to roll out sale of new SIM cards.

The employee said, “We are aware of them lifting the ban on new SIM cards but we have not been given the official greenlight to go ahead. We still await instructions from the authorities on that issue and that is what we tell our subscribers when they request for it.

“We want to follow due process so that we are not held responsible for any SIM card sales, hence we only retrieve old SIM cards that were lost with proof of ownership and, of course, the NIN identification.”

Some of the subscribers, who spoke to NAN at the various locations, stated that they needed new SIM cards for their wards, businesses and other needs.

According to a trader, Mr Isaac Benson, it was a welcome development when it was announced that SIM registration was restored. He added that he needed a new SIM card for his new business centre.

He said, “I still don’t understand why we have yet to register our new SIM cards. I just floated a new business centre here in Surulere and I needed to get lines to attach to the centre, only to be informed that registration had yet to start.

“I hope the government will quickly give the network providers the permission to start the reissuing of new SIM cards to avoid delays in our various businesses.”

Ronke Thompson was also turned down for requesting a new SIM card for her new phone.

“I just turned 18 and I was given a new phone by my brother. I need a new SIM card for myself but my preferred network said no to SIM card sales yet. I just want to have my own line to reach out to my friends and for my privacy,” Thompson said.

A food vendor, Temitope Yusuf, also lamented that her business needed new lines to aid her business for customers to make orders and bookings.

“Right now, I need about two more lines for my staff members to receive orders and bookings for food from customers, but we have one line which is really making business slow. I sincerely beg that new SIM cards should be rolled out to help us,” Yusuf said.

Ronke Thompson was also turned down for requesting a new SIM card for her new phone.

“I just turned 18 and I was given a new phone by my brother. I need a new SIM card for myself but my preferred network said no to SIM card sales yet. I just want to have my own line to reach out to my friends and for my privacy,” Thompson said.

A food vendor, Temitope Yusuf, also lamented that her business needed new lines to aid her business for customers to make orders and bookings.

“Right now, I need about two more lines for my staff members to receive orders and bookings for food from customers, but we have one line which is really making business slow. I sincerely beg that new SIM cards should be rolled out to help us,” Yusuf said.

NAN reports that the NCC, on Thursday, arrested no fewer than five suspects for allegedly engaging in fraudulent registering and sale of SIM cards.

The arrest was made during the commission’s routine enforcement operations in Abuja.

The Head of the NCC enforcement operations, Salish Abdu, said the exercise was part of routine activities embarked upon by the commission to rid the industry of criminal elements engaging in fraudulent registration of SIM cards.

Abdu warned those engaged in the unlawful registration of SIM cards to desist from the illegal act, noting that the commission would continue to deal with perpetrators.

He said the enforcement would continue in other parts of the country.

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