Watchdog: This is why it’s illegal to use pre-registered SIM cards
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the telecoms regulator says that Nigerians cannot use pre-registered SIM cards because it violates the nation’s telecoms laws.
Specifically operators and their appointed dealers/agents were warned to desist from the practice of pre-registering SIM cards and selling same in the open market as it is a violation of NCC Regulations 2011, the telecoms regulator says.
The telecoms watchdog says in a statement that that despite regulations and directives against the sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards, operators through their dealers/agents are still selling pre-registered SIM cards in several parts of the country.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]A licensee who activates any Subscription Medium without capturing, registering and transmitting the personal information to the Central Database commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N200, 000.00 for each unregistered activated Subscription Medium.[/quote]NCC assures that it will enlist the assistance of law enforcement agencies to address and curb this menace as well as ensure that violators face stiff sanctions.
This has prompted NCC to reiterate and draw attention of the operators and their dealers as well as the general public to its (Registration of Telephone Subscribers) Regulations 2011, the enabling law that makes it a criminal act.
According to the Nigerian telecommunication regulator, Sections 19 and 20 of the Nigerian Communications Commission (Registration of Telephone Subscribers) Regulations, 2011 state that:
19.(1) Any licensee who fails to capture, register, deregister or transmit the details of any individual or corporate subscribers to the Central Database as specified in these Regulations or as may be stipulated from time to time by the Commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each subscription medium.
(2) A licensee who activates any Subscription Medium without capturing, registering and transmitting the personal information to the Central Database commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N200, 000.00 for each unregistered activated Subscription Medium.
20.(1) Any licensee who activates or fails to deactivate a subscription medium in violation of any provision of these Regulations is liable to pay a penalty of N200,000.00 for each unregistered but activated subscription medium.
(2) Where the Commission is satisfied that a body corporate is culpable, the Director, Chief Executive Officer, Manager or Secretary shall also be liable to pay a fine of N200, 000.00 unless, having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all the surrounding circumstances, he proves that-
(i) the offence was committed without his knowledge, consent or connivance; and
(ii) he took all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to prevent the Commission of the breach.
The NCC also notified the general public to stop purchasing pre-registered SIM cards and insist on being registered personally for any new SIM card purchased.