Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s communication technology minister has revealed that the communication technology is going ahead with the ban on importation of SIM cards to Nigeria by December 2015. Speaking to ICT journalists in Lagos, she said the decision is part of ways of promoting local content in the sector.
She said: “We gave telecoms operators operating in the country, ultimatum to stop importation of SIM cards because government is aware that the SIM cards could be produced locally in Nigeria if the operators are willing to boost local content in the country. The time frame is two years from the day the campaign was launched, which was in December last year.
“So by December 2015, we expect all telecoms operators to begin local SIM card manufacturing. We allowed up to two years because in the course of our consultation with the operators, government was made to understand that the operators do place orders on a long term basis and government decided to allow them receive the last batch of orders placed, before they stop further importation.”
She said during the two-year period given by the ministry, telecoms companies are expected to prepare very well for the ban.
“The two years time lag is to enable our local industry to prepare very well and put in place all that is needed for local SIM card production in the country. This is so because they must be able to produce the same quality of SIM cards that were being ordered by the operators. From our own investigation, government is convinced that we have local manufacturers that could produce SIM cards locally in the country. Already, there are local companies that are producing chips for banks, and it is the same technology to produce SIM cards,” Johnson said.