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‘Nigeria needs credible subscriber database to curb insecurity’

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NCC plans regulation on electronic waste

Having a credible subscriber database will help in stemming the rising tide of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, and other criminalities perpetrated via the Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) cards, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

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Specifically, the commission explained that having a credible subscriber database helps in tracing a SIM card to the real owner in case of any criminal investigation.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who gave the explanation, yesterday, during a virtual press conference to mark the World Consumer Rights Day, said the commission had ensured full compliance with SIM card registration guidelines by the service providers and telecom consumers to stop the use of improperly-registered SIMs that are difficult to track.

“We have been able to sanitise the telecoms ecosystem of improperly-registered SIM cards that pose threat to national security. It is, therefore, pertinent to say that the linking of SIM and National Identity Number (NIN) databases will further help us in protecting the consumers and all citizens at large,” he said.

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The NCC boss noted that as part of efforts to tackle insecurity in the country, the commission has completed and launched emergency communications centres in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory, while the process for completion of the centres in the remaining states is ongoing.

On the theme for the 2021 World Consumer Rights Day, which is “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, Danbatta said NCC was finalising arrangements to issue a regulation on electronic waste.

According to him, NCC is mindful of the fact that many ICT and telecom devices have plastic components, the waste of which could worsen plastic pollution. Improper disposal of such disused ICT-plastic embedded products has a grave implication on public health, and on achieving items 11, 12, and 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

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Danbatta said that the commission, worried by the recurrent cycle of fraudulent deployment of fake and substandard mobile devices that are usually made of iron and plastic components, collaborated with the Office of the National Security Adviser and other relevant government agencies to inaugurate a committee to implement Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS).

“The initiative is designed as a public-private partnership aimed at combating the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard, and cloned communication devices in the telecommunications industry.

“The expected result is that only genuine materials malleable to enduring usage are available for consumer use. The commission also implemented a strict type-approval process that ensures all equipment used in the telecommunications industry are of a suitable standard, both for the good of the consumers and for the preservation of our environment.”

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