NCC Promises to roll out 5G services By Q4 2022
Explains Delay In NIN-SIM Linkage For Barred Subscribers
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the long-awaited 5G network services would be available across the country by the last quarter of this year.
It also explained that the delay in verification of the National Identification Number (NIN), especially for subscribers who were barred after the expiration of the March 30 deadline, as a result of the low capacity of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which slowed the verification process.
Head, Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement in NCC, Alkasim Umar, at a capacity building workshop for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) reporters in Abuja, explained that subscribers, who were able to make calls had submitted their NIN for verification and linkage, while those who were barred had not submitted theirs.
He noted that it was not in the interest of telecommunication operators to bar subscribers, as they were losing revenue but they had to bar the lines because they needed to abide by the rules to avoid sanctions.
His words: “For years, they have been telling the public to link their NIN. Your vendors have been sending messages to us to link our numbers. But now, why you cannot link it is because any NIN that is submitted now after the ban must be verified before the line becomes active.
“NIMC had a breakdown in its database for about 15 days. You cannot do an international passport, register your line or do a welcome back. So, now, the work is on NIMC. Second, the operators need money, but they have to abide by the laid down rules and regulations because there are sanctions attached to any regulation that is given by the NIMC.”
On those allegedly extorting money before registering subscribers, he said: “If you find out any place, please inform us.”
Asked whether the country is making progress on security, especially with the NIN-SIM linkage, he said: “Yes, we are making progress. The only challenge we are faced with now is, that if bandits kidnap, they use the victim’s number to call. They will never use their line. They use the kidnapped person’s number and switch it off immediately.
“They can keep you at a different place and make a call somewhere else. If a phone is off, there is no way one can trace it. It’s a big challenge.
Earlier, the Director of Public Affairs in the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, observed that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the NCC Strategic Management Plan (2020-2024), creation of the Digital Economy Department, as well as the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecommunications Sector (NODITS) all underscore the policy directions of the Federal Government, which the NCC is expected to drive aggressively.