NCC tightens rules regarding SIM card replacement

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Yesterday, Tuesday, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) released a new set of rules concerning the retrieval of SIM cards. Titled “Guidelines on SIM Replacement in Nigeria”, the rules this time are stricter, majorly to curb cases of illegal SIM swap. Below are the highlights of the new rules:

  • No more SIM card swap by telephone or calling customer care.
  • Any SIM to be replaced must have been registered in the past.
  • Any user, wishing to replace a SIM card must be present in person or authorize a proxy with a Letter of Authority. Exceptions are for those replacing their SIM card through a secured online portal.
  • A subscriber must present a means of identification such as driver’s licence, national identification card, voter card or an identification letter from a traditional ruler and religious leader.
  • A subscriber is also required to present the SIM pack or other evidence of direct purchase/ownership of the SIM card in question and where that is not available, an affidavit, attesting to the ownership and loss of the SIM, must be provided.

Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Head of Legal Services at NCC added:

The tough process had become necessary in order to stop fraudulent swapping of SIM cards by people, who were not authorised to do so by genuine SIM card subscribers.

“The guidelines are principally intended to prescribe a standard procedure for SIM replacement to be used by network service providers. The guidelines shall apply to all network service providers and to all subscribers, including post-paid and prepaid subscribers.

“A proxy will be required to provide an affidavit deposed to by the owner of the SIM, copy of the deposed subscriber’s means of identification and valid photo identification of the proxy. The proxy shall be required to fill the standard form.

“The network service provider must carry out a quarterly audit of SIM replacement transactions carried out by both its staff and agents and a report forwarded to the commission. All service providers must keep a register of all SIM replacements underneath undertaken for 12 months.”

A (secure) website and a self service terminal will be made available for online SIM replacement. Here, subscribers can log in to carry out SIM replacement with a PIN issued by the service provider.



  1. I’m convinced people will still find a way around this. As someone said to me “to get an Affidavit, just go to the courts and pay N200 or “N300 to one of the touts hanging around there”.

    What The Punch article doesn’t say or isn’t very clear on is when this new process will begin.

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