NCC Guidelines On SIM Replacement For Subscribers, Service Providers | DETAILS

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NCC Guidelines On SIM Replacement For Subscribers, Service Providers | DETAILS

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has stipulated guidelines for subscribers who wish to do Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) replacement.

NCC’s SIM replacement guidelines is in adherence to the powers conferred upon it by Section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

NCC is the independent National Regulatory Authority for Telecoms Industry in the country.

The essence of the guidelines is to;

Prescribe a regulatory framework and provide a procedure for Communications Service

Providers to effect SIM Replacement for subscribers.

To stipulate the minimum standard of care which Communications Service Providers shall

exercise in order to prevent unauthorized replacements of SIMs.

Provide guidance on the standard and procedure which Communications Service Providers

are expected to adhere to in the process of conducting a SIM Replacement.

According to a publication on the NCC’s website, these Guidelines apply to all Communications Service Providers that provide service using a SIM, and also to all postpaid and prepaid subscribers as of April 2022.

Circumstances When a SIM can be Replaced:

  • A SIM can be replaced if it is faulty, damaged, stolen, lost, obsolete, or in need of an upgrade and any other reasonable legitimate reason or condition necessitating a SIM replacement as outlined in the Business Rules for SIM Replacement. Provided that a Communications Service Provider may refuse a SIM Replacement request where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the replacement ought not to be carried out and the Commission is notified within 48 hours of such a decision.
  • The medium of reporting rejected SIM Replacements would be in the same data dump format utilized for submission of SIM registration details, subject to any modifications the Commission may make from time to time.

Persons Authorized to Carry Out a SIM Replacement:

  • All SIM Replacements shall be undertaken by Communications Service Providers or their accredited agents/dealers licensed by the Commission.

Requirements for SIM Replacement:

– The request for SIM Replacement can be made by a Subscriber.

– The SIM must have been registered in accordance with the Registration of Communications Subscribers Regulations issued by the Commission.

– The subscriber requesting for the replacement shall provide the following, as applicable, under the relevant scenarios contained in the Business Rules:

  1. Information about the three (3) most frequently called numbers from that SIM which must be verified by the Communications Service Provider. The frequently called numbers must have been dialed at least five times over a 30 days period.
  2. Where the SIM to be replaced is a data SIM, the subscriber will be required to provide any two of the following:
  3. Last recharge amount and date
  4. Name of internet bundle value activated and data allowance allocated

iii. Last three (3) sites visited.

  1. An affidavit signed by the subscriber and a passport photograph of the

subscriber where the replacement is to be done by a proxy.

  1. Details of the last recharge on the SIM.
  2. Details of the last paid invoice for post-paid subscribers.
  3. NIN

– The requirements in sub-paragraph 1 above will be verified and validated in line with the provisions of the Business Rules before the replacement/swap is affected.

– Where the Subscriber requesting for the replacement is a Telecom Master, the following must be provided:

  1. Details of the last recharge on the SIM
  2. Details of the last paid invoice for post-paid subscribers
  3. Letter of authorization from the organization
  4. NIN of the authorized representative of the organization Provided that the process outlined in Paragraph 6.4 will be carried out in line with the provisions of the Business Rules.

– The SIM must be active on the network of the Communications Service Provider.

– A person requesting a replacement must fill a Standard Form as provided in the Schedule to these Guidelines for SIM Replacement.

– The Communications Service Provider must capture a facial image of the Subscriber which must be stored in accordance with the provisions of the Cybercrime Act 2015.

– All completed SIM Replacement Forms and other requirements as stated in these Guidelines must be verified and approved by the Communications Service Provider before carrying out the SIM Replacement.

– Upon satisfactory receipt of validated information the Communications Service Provider may effect the replacement and provide the person requesting the replacement with a new SIM.

SIM Replacement by Proxy and for Deceased:

A SIM Replacement may be carried out by proxy subject to the following conditions:

  1. A letter of Authorization from the main Subscriber appointing the Proxy in that regard.
  2. The Proxy shall provide his/her NIN and the NIN of the main Subscriber.
  3. The Subscriber shall 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.
  4. At all times, the Proxy shall be liable where it is discovered that such SIM Replacement was done without the consent of the main Subscriber or the consent of the main Subscriber was fraudulently or deceptively obtained.
  5. Both the Proxy and the main Subscriber must be subscribers of the Communications Service Provider.

– Where a replacement is done by a proxy, such proxy will be required to provide an affidavit

sworn to by the owner of the SIM detailing reasons for the replacement, as well as the reasons

for the Subscriber’s inability to carry out the replacement; a copy of the Subscriber’s means of

identification and a valid photo identification of the proxy.

– The proxy shall be required to fill the Form in accordance with Paragraph 6.6 above.

– Where a SIM Replacement is carried out by proxy, the Communications Service Provider must capture a facial image of the proxy which must be kept for a minimum of two (2) years.

– The Communications Service Provider shall keep all documents and information provided by the Proxy which shall be kept for a minimum of two (2) years

– The SIM of a deceased can be replaced by an authorized individual subject to the following conditions:

  1. The provision of a Certified True Copy of the death certificate of the deceased issued by the National Population Commission (NPC).
  2. Provision of Letters of Administration of Estate issued by a superior Court of Record, where the deceased died intestate or with an unregistered Will.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. At all times, such individual shall be liable where it is discovered that the SIM Replacement was done without the requisite authority.

The provision of a Certified True Copy of the death certificate of the deceased issued by the

National Population Commission (NPC).

Where a Law Enforcement Agency intends to carry out a SIM Replacement of an individual

for the purpose of conducting an investigation, such request shall be made to the Commission

through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) or Heads of Security Agencies.

 Register/ Auditing of SIM Replacement Transactions:

The Communications Service Provider must carry out a quarterly audit of SIM Replacement

transactions carried out by both its staff and agents to ensure the integrity of its Replacement processes.

A Report on the audit in Paragraph 8.1 must be forwarded to the Commission in Microsoft Excel format as provided in Schedule 2 of these Guidelines for SIM Replacement.

All Communications Service Providers must keep a register of all SIM Replacements undertaken by it for not less than two years.

Online SIM Replacement:

Online SIM Replacement shall be carried out as outlined in the Business Rules.

Activation:

  • A Communications Service Provider may provide Limited Service or Limited Access to the Subscriber (where applicable), pending the verification and validation of the Subscriber information in the SIM Replacement process as outlined in the Business Rules.
  • A replacement SIM shall be activated within two (2) hours once the verification of Subscriber information has been carried out.

Violations and Penalties:

  • Any SIM Replacement done in violation of these Guidelines and its Business Rules shall be sanctioned in accordance with the Enforcement Process Regulations.
  • A Communications Service Provider shall be held liable for any SIM Replacement carried out in violation of these Guidelines or done fraudulently by its agent or dealer.
  • A Subscriber can pursue any other remedies against a Communications Service Provider for any SIM Replacement done fraudulently by such Communications Service Provider or its agent or dealer.
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