Nigerian telecommunications subscribers can legally replace Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) for deceased and also persons by proxy, the Nigerian Communications Commission.
This was made known in the ‘Guidelines on SIM Replacement and the business rules & operational processes for implementation of the SIM replacement guidelines 2022.’
The Guideline was approved by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).
The ministry had set up a technical committee on the guideline.
The Minister had approved the SIM Replacement Policy for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged in 2021.
The guideline applies to all Communications Service Providers using a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) as well as all postpaid and prepaid subscribers, according to the document seen by THE WHISTLER.
The National Identity Number linkage has become mandatory for replacement of SIMs. Based on the guideline, subscribers can replace their SIM by proxy, while SIM replacement can be done for the deceased.
The NCC described the proxy as a subscriber who cannot visit the shop either due to sickness or inability to move.
It said the requirement are a letter of authorisation from the main Subscriber appointing the Proxy in that regard, adding that the Proxy must provide his/her NIN and the NIN of the main Subscriber.
The Guideline also stated that the Subscriber must provide the Communications Service Provider with a letter of indemnity, indemnifying the relevant Communications Service Provider from any liability arising from the SIM Replacement process.
On SIM replacement for the deceased, the regulator revealed that SIM of a deceased can be replaced by an authorized individual subject to conditions.
The steps are, “The provision of a Certified True Copy of the death certificate of the deceased issued by the National Population Commission (NPC). Provision of Letters of Administration of Estate issued by a superior Court of Record, where the deceased died intestate or with an unregistered Will. Where the deceased died testate, the Executor of the registered Will must provide the requisite probate letters showing authority to act on behalf of the estate of the deceased.
“The authorized individual must provide his/her NIN and the MSISDN of the deceased. The Communications Service Provider shall confirm the deceased ownership of the MSISDN and whether any NIN was linked to the MSISDN. The authorized individual must provide the Communications Service Provider with a letter of indemnity, indemnifying the relevant Communications Service Provider from any liability arising from the SIM Replacement process.
“At all times, such individual shall be liable where it is discovered that the SIM Replacement was done without the requisite authority.”