The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has acknowledged 95.7 million registered SIM cards as invalid due to improper face and fingerprints capturing. This, it emphasized, would send those subscribers back to the registration centers to enable proper capturing of their details.
The regulatory commission made this known through its Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr Sunday Dare, who was fully represented at a forum by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement at the Commission, Mr Efosa Idehen. The forum held on Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. While delivering a keynote address at a regional sensitization workshop, he said that those who indulge in the illegal activity would be charged for felony.
He also added, while speaking on the dangers of fraudulent sim cards, that the perpetrators risk 25 years imprisonment as proscribed by the law.
In a statement made available to reporters at the forum, Mr. Dare hinted that once an agent who is involved in preregistered sim cards gets arrested, the culpability could flow to other players in the sim card registration value chain including the super agents, heads of marketing of network operators and the chief executives of the mobile service provider.
SIM cards registration by Nigerian Communications Commission
It can be recalled that the SIM registration exercise by the regulatory commission started in 2011. According to Dare, a total number of 151,449,837 registration data of subscribers had been processed, with only 55,749,652 records being valid between 2011 and now. This figure accounts for 63.2% of the total invalid records based on invalid face capturing and fingerprints.
Threats of invalid data capture
“Reported cases of fraudulently-registered SIM cards have been abetting robbery cases, kidnappings, financial frauds and all manners of criminalities where the concealment of the registered subscribers makes criminal investigation difficult for the law enforcement agencies,” the executive commissioner said. This poses a huge threat to national security and national interest.
To curb the dangers posed by this illegal activity, Dare insisted that the right things must be done by the registration agents and their MNOs to help control the menaces.
About the Nigerian Communications Commission
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is the independent National Regulatory Authority for Nigeria’s telecommunications industry. The Commission is in charge of creating an enabling environment for competition among operators or players in the industry with a mission to support a market-driven communications industry and promote universal access.