NCC deactivates 2.2m improperly registered Sim Cards

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced, over the weekend, that its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement team has seen to the deactivation of 2.2 million improperly registered Sim Cards.

This, the commission said, is in compliance with the directive of the Minister of Communication and Digital economy, Isah Pantami, that Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with incomplete registration details be deactivated.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who made this known in a press release availed to journalists, said as of the time the directive came, there were about 9.2 million Sim cards with missing or incomplete registration information, but with the vigorous efforts of its team, it was reduced to 2.2 million which has, eventually, been deactivated.

“By our records, all improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards across Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria have been completely deactivated. As of 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.

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“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,” he said

The Danbatta also stated that the move is in line with the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to strengthen the security of lives and property for all Nigerians.

“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 registrations. This audit exercise was concluded in August 2019.

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

“We have since initiated the second phase of SIM deactivation based on the Ministerial directive and we have completely deactivated the remaining 2.2 million lines on the networks. This is contrary to reports by a section of the media, suggesting that nothing has been done with respect to the issue of improperly-registered SIM cards,” he said.

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