By Omobayo Azeez
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has added National Identity Number (NIN) to the mandatory list of requirements for registering new subscriber’s identity module (SIM) cards by consumers of telecommunications services in Nigeria.
Umar Garba Danbatta, the executive vice chairman and chief executive officer (EVC/CEO) of the NCC made this disclosure at the annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) held in Lagos over the weekend.
He recalled that with respect to SIM registration and its connection with national security, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) established under the NIMC 2007 Act has released the National Identification Number Regulations 2017.
The NCC boss, who was represented by Omoniyi Ibietan, the head of new media and special publications at the commission, Omoniy, added that the regulation mandates a person to provide his/her NIN in order to register a telephone SIM card.
He said “Consequently, the NCC, in collaboration with all stakeholders, has set in motion mechanisms for compliance. It may interest you to know that the NCC engages in continuous verification exercise of the SIM data collected by the MNOs and their SIM registration agents across the country to deliver on its mandate.
“This is part of the commission’s consistent regulatory interventions to ensure that we have credible subscriber data.
“I, therefore, would like to use this opportunity to encourage Nigerians – you and I – who want to acquire new SIM cards, for one reason or the other, to ensure that they obtain a National Identity Number first.”
Dambatta described the theme of the event: “Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward in Nigeria” as apt and timely as it speaks to the fundamental issues that underpin Nigeria’s development outlook as a nation.
The EVC said NCC, as the country’s independent telecom regulatory authority, has been doing a few things towards engendering security of lives and property for economic development in the country.
He further discussed this under the sub-theme of the conference: “NCC, SIM Registration, Security and National Development.”
“As you may be aware, the Nigerian telecoms industry, in the past 18 years, has recorded tremendous growth. Today, the number of active telephone lines in the country is about 175 million, representing a teledensity of 91.65 per cent.
“Today, the number of Internet users is 122.6 million while broadband penetration currently stands at 35 percent,” he said.
He added that the cumulative investment profile in the sector is over $70 billion, adding that at 11.39 percent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecom subsector remains a major actor in the national economy.
He said, “Indeed, as at the second quarter of 2019, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent. Today, the positive impacts of telecoms sector – either voice or data resonate in other sectors of the economy and in all the aspects of our daily interactions.
“On this note, I thank Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) for inviting the Nigerian Communications Commission to attend this conference and to make some remarks. I wish you a very fruitful deliberations.”
Danbatta concluded by restating that in its renowned effective regulatory character, the NCC is consistent in its commitment to using telecoms to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government, which are to improve the economy, enhance security of lives and property and to fight corruption in the society.
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