By Seun Adeuyi
Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to suspend the N20 USSD fee imposed on subscribers for National Identification Number (NIN) retrieval requests.
The directive i in response to the outrage across the country from subscribers who were charged N20 by their network providers in order to retrieve their NIN.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, on Friday and made available to journalists in Abuja, the minister’s directive takes immediate effect.
According to the statement, It is an intervention aimed at making the process easier and affordable.
It read partly, “In a letter conveying the implementation of the directive, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC and the Director General of NIMC informed Dr Pantami that the relevant authorities had met with, and negotiated a waiver with the mobile network operators in that regard.
“By this waiver, all Nigerians, subscribers and applicants, can access the service using the *346# code for their NIN retrieval at no charge for the duration of the NIN/SIM Card integration exercise.
“Recall that the Federal Government had earlier directed that all National Identification Numbers be integrated with Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) for security purposes.
“The minister appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders and encourages them to continue to sacrifice more for national interest.”