NCC warns against sales of pre-registered SIM

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has, again, warned telecoms operators against the sales of pre-registered  SIM cards, as the Commission asked subscribers and other members of the public to alert the Commission or  security agencies, whenever such infractions are noticed.

Giving the warning at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, held in Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Professor Umar Danbatta described sales of pre-registered SIM cards as constituting serious danger to the security of the individual and that of the society at large.

The NCC boss used the opportunity of the fair, which ended on Sunday, to reiterate the commission’s regulations that insist that any new number acquired by a subscriber should not be able to originate calls, until such number is registered before it is activated in the network.

“It also means that any number that is not registered or activated by the service provider would remain inactive in the network.

“However, we have a situation where some unscrupulous individuals engage in registering and activating huge number of lines with fraudulent identities with a view to selling them to unwary subscribers who are too busy or too ignorant to understand that they need to have identities behind their numbers,” he added.

He however insisted that any individual found violating the law that insists on registration of SIM cards before being used, risk severe penalties.

Dambatta also warned telecom service providers to ensure that their dealers and sub-dealers, involved in sale and activation of services, do not engage in SIM card  pre-registration.

While  urging telecom services operators in the country to ensure that devices being used fall within the category of those approved by the Commission, the NCC boss added that use of  substandard devices are capable of  compromising the  quality of services available in such  networks, while also  posing  serious safety issues to users.

“As Technologies and more devices are being introduced into the market, some of the devices have been used and dropped in other parts of the world. Some may not even meet international benchmarks for Safety,” he stated.

He however condemned the wilful vandalisation of telecoms equipment in some areas, noting that such acts had been a major impediment to telecom operators’ efforts at providing quality services to subscribers.