Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has disclosed that Foreigners not staying in Nigeria will have to activate their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards every six months.

NCC disclosed this in its new draft for ‘Business Rules and Operational Processes for Implementation of the National Policy for SIM activation, Replacement, and Other Key Telecommunications Operational Processes.’

The draft read, “SIM activations for foreigners exempted from enrolling for NIN shall be configured for a period of six months in the first instance and can be renewed further upon request and where the visa is not for a stay of two years and above.”

NCC added that Foreigners validly transiting through Nigeria or are employed in or reside in Nigeria for less than 24 months are exempted from the mandatory use of the NIN requirement.

The draft stressed that “Persons in this category need to provide justification that they will be residing in Nigeria for less than two years.”


NCC stated that failure to request for SIM activation at the end of the six-month period for such Foreigner will lead to SIM deactivation.

It further stated that foreigners residing in the country for more than two years are required to register for NIN and also register their SIMs fully.

According to the draft, “NIN is mandatory for foreigners with legal residency status or those living in Nigeria for two years and above. For those who do not already have a NIN, mobile network operators shall capture the resident’s details for NIN issuance as part of the NIN enrolment process, upon presentation of resident’s permits.”

According to the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, foreigners not staying in Nigeria for up to two years do not need a NIN to register SIM cards.