How to retrieve your lost SIM card

The Nigerian government has lifted the ban on SIM replacement and released fresh requirements for SIM replacement. Find out how to retrieve your lost SIM card, from the year 2021 onwards. 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has made public new guidelines and requirements for mobile and wireless subscribers in the country who want to replace lost, stolen, or damaged SIM cards.

How to retrieve your lost SIM card, damaged sim, stolen sim

With the ban on SIM replacement lifted, subscribers of MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, Smile, and ntel who have misplaced their SIM cards, or have them stolen or damaged, can once again have the card replaced, but only based on a new set of replacement requirements.

Those requirements are based on the new NIN SIM card attachment policy.

Requirements to retrieve your lost SIM card

To replace your SIM card, your service provider will now require you to provide a valid National Identification Number (NIN). This is following on the heels of the new government policy that requires all mobile and wireless lines in the country to be attached to a NIN.

After submitting your NIN, the National Identity Managemnt Commission (NIMC) will verify the number, and your service provider also make sure that other “relevant guidelines and regulations of NCC concerning SIM replacement are fully adhered to”.

Basically, there are three broad requirements:

  1. That the subscriber present a NIN;
  2. That an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC; and
  3. That the relevant Guidelines and Regulations of NCC concerning SIM Replacement are fully adhered to.

What to do to retrieve your lost SIM card

If your SIM goes missing, is stolen, or damaged, and you need to replace it, make sure you have your NIN, then go to the nearest outlet of your mobile service provider to request for a replacement.

The new requirements for SIM replacement were arrived at based on the work of a technical committee that included reprensentatives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) – MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, and others.

The news of this new SIM card replacement policy was broken by the NIMC on the 2nd of January 2021.


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25 thoughts on “How to retrieve your lost SIM card”

  1. Here in 9mobile outlet in sango ota, one of the attendance asked my wife to go for affidavit after providing him with her NiN number and ask her to go to a particular person for the affidavit. I don’t think that is necessary since she presented her NIN coz with it they can verify her number, it’s a simple logic

  2. pls help us to allow voter card numbers too,my wife phone was stolen from her, or will l be allowed to use my own NlN to register for her welcomeback plea

  3. I lost my phone some days ago, please how can I retrieve my line?
    The worst part is
    I bought it about 6years ago
    It was a registered sim card
    My name is not on it

  4. I lost my airtel sim and I when to retrieved it and my details are fixed except the picture is not my own. Please help me, how would I do?

  5. I lost my phone with my sim card in it
    And is been long I have that sim then it was register down it bring another person name wat should I do

  6. i misplaced my sim and i need to retrieve it, The problem there is that i’m out of the country and the sim is attached to my mail and whatsapp. please what can i do?

  7. I’m ask to pay #1000 for airtel sim replacement with NIN number with out been credited with 1 Kobo from bode Thomas St. Lagos

  8. It is possible to retrieve my Airtel sim that has no NIN attached with it? I just enrolled or registered my nin few weeks ago.

  9. Please who can help me out
    I lost my phone this afternoon
    And All my details of account is there please help me out please
    My SIM card and phone

    • Hello Christine,

      Unfortunately, no; you cannot. Usually, your line goes dormant after a few months and is deactivated after 6 months of inactivity. And after that, it gets sold/re-allocated.

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