Every SIM card in Nigeria must be captured under mandatory subscriber registration rules in force nationwide, the telecoms regulator says.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria has recorded 174,012,136 subscriptions to various telecoms services with mobile phone lines accounting for 173,625,306 by January this year.
Sunday Dare, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, NCC re-emphasised the SIM registration rule at a sensitisation workshop held in Enugu to emphasize the regulator’s drive to rid the country of pre-registered SIM cards.
One of the directions is that any registered and activated MSISDN with no Revenue Generating Event (RGE) within 48 hours should automatically be returned to one-way activation, according to the regulator. – Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Dare says it is compulsory that telecoms services subscribers in Nigeria properly register their SIM cards in compliance with Subscribers Registration Guidelines that went into force eight years ago.
According to NCC, the mandatory subscriber registration helps identify mobile phone users easily and also detect crimes committed through use of mobile phones.
NCC says it has had several meetings and sensitisation workshops with stakeholders and also issued key directions to “ensure proper governance of the SIM acquisition and utilisation process.”
One of the directions is that any registered and activated MSISDN with no Revenue Generating Event (RGE) within 48 hours should automatically be returned to one-way activation, according to the regulator.
In June 2015, NCC directed all operators to mop up all the SIMs deemed to be “pre-registered” on their networks and submit reports to the Commission.
The regulator says an additional instruction was issued in October 2016 that SIM Registration should only take place in “controlled environments” and traceable to a specific registration agent. A controlled environment is within permanent structures, according to NCC.
According to Dare, infractions against the extant directions explained why some registration agents were arrested, registration machines confiscated, huge caches of fully-activated SIMs have been confiscated, and many suspects are being prosecuted.
NCC wants Nigerians to report cases of illegal SIM card registration to the Commission or law enforcement agencies.