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NCC claims deactivation of improperly registered SIM cards

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that it had successfully deactivated all improperly-registered Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards across all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who stated this at the weekend in Abuja, said the move became necessary to curb activities of criminals in the country.

“By our records, all improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards across Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria have been completely deactivated,” Danbatta, has said.

The EVC said, over the years, the NCC had tenaciously worked with determination and through various policy initiatives, to rid mobile networks of improperly or invalidly-registered SIM cards to ensure that all the current over 184 million registered SIM cards/mobile lines across networks have valid data that are traceable and not anonymous.

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Danbatta said: “Our efforts received a boost following the implementation of a September 12, 2019 ministerial directive that the NCC should compel service providers to block all improperly-registered SIM cards pending when their owners regularise their registration.”

As at the time the ministerial order was issued, the commission, through its compliance monitoring and enforcement team, had reduced the number of improperly-registered SIM cards on mobile networks in the country to 9.2 million.

As part of the commission’s ongoing regulatory interventions, such as the setting up of the SIM Registration Industry Task Force, which led to several resolutions, including the Industry Working Group (IWG) on harmonisation of SIM registration process with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure a clean SIM database, the commission had, in June 2019, commenced the second round of comprehensive verification audit of MNOs’ SIM card registration. This audit exercise was concluded in August 2019.

The audit was specifically to ensure strict adherence by telecoms operators to the provisions of the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011.

The EVC assured all stakeholders that the commission would continue to aggressively pursue the national objectives of delivering an accurate database of telephone subscribers in Nigeria, stating that the SIM data submitted to the commission is constantly being validated for higher efficiency to support the national security objectives of the SIM registration exercise through NCC’s zero-tolerance for deviation from the proper registration process.

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