NCC Says Defective SIM Cards Threaten National Security

NCCNigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it has blocked about 10.7 million telephone lines in the last two weeks in the ongoing de-activation of pre-registered Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards of mobile network operators in Nigeria.

The Commission also warned telecom operators to adhere strictly to instructions by deactivating SIM cards with defective registration.

Mr Efosa Idehen, head, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement at NCC, said that such SIM cards portend risks to the nation\’s security, particularly in the current battle against terrorism.

He said that Commission will not rest on its oars till telecommunication operators comply with the deactivation of invalid and improper registered SIM cards.

According to Idehen, the enforcement team recent visits to the operators after the expiration of the deadline, showed that they were not prepared to conform to Regulator\’s directive.

Idehen said that as at September 2014 when the data base was scrubbed, various numbers were sent to the operators for re-validation.

Then, 18.6 million numbers were sent to MTN while Airtel got 7.49 million numbers for re-validation.

Also, Glo and Etisalat networks received 2.3 million numbers and 10.46 million numbers, respectively.

Unfortunately, he said, when NCC visited MTN, earlier in August 2015, findings showed the telecommunication company had not complied with the directive.

Airtel, Glo and Etisalat networks, he said had achieved partial compliance, as only 2.3 million, 3.5 million and 3.3 million lines, were barred, respectively.

He said,’When we appeared on their doorsteps unannounced, they were caught napping.

On her part,‎ Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, head, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, appealed to Nigerians to bear the pain of re-registration if they are asked to do so.

She said the exercise requires some patience and understanding of the users who might be required to visit operators\’ customer centres/outlets for re-registration.

Some of the cancelled registrations were as a result of inadequate or non-provision of characteristics such as finger prints, facial capturing, contact addresses, among others.

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