The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is scrubbing and verifying the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards of 95.7 million subscribers; on claims they were not properly registered by telecommunications companies.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare, disclosed this, on Tuesday at a regional sensitisation workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Dare was represented by Director for Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen.
He said NCC will send owners of the SIM cards back to registration centres for recapturing and that perpetrators of fraudulently registered SIM cards would be charged with felony. They risk a 25-year jail term in the process. Of the 151.4 million subscribers registered, only 55.7 million are valid.
“A total of 151,449,837 registration data of subscribers have been processed, with only 55,749,652 records valid, making 63.2 per cent of the total records invalid; based on invalid face capturing and fingerprints, thereby, underscoring the importance of proper SIM registration,” he said.
The NCC director said the agency has put various sanctions in place, to deal with the menace of pre-registered SIMs and that the sanctions will extend to the heads of Marketing of mobile network operators and even chief executives of licensees who illegally benefit from such illegal SIM registration activities to meet their marketing targets,
“The NCC will begin to plead national security and national interests against anybody found culpable of fraudulently-registered SIM cards in the telecommunications industry,” he added.
Daily Sun spoke with a top NCC source who declined to be named, in Abuja, yesterday afternoon. He dismissed the “Port Harcourt story (as) not very true because the SIMs are undergoing scrubbing and verification.”