By Charles Abuede
Another round of audit of telecommunication companies’ subscribers’ database is about to get into gear with the suspension of registration of new SIM cards by the telcos.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that the directive to suspend the registration of new SIM cards by network operators is to embark on another audit of the subscriber registration database which is aimed to verify and ensure full compliance by mobile networks with set quality standards and requirements for SIM card registration.
Isa Ali Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy directed the NCC to suspend the exercise in line with the federal government’s desire to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise of September 2019, according to a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, public affairs director of the commission.
“The objective of the audit exercise is to verify and ensure compliance by mobile network operators with the set quality standards and requirements of SIM card registration as issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the commission.
“Accordingly, mobile network operators (MNOs) are hereby directed to immediately suspend the sale, registration and activation of new SIM Cards until the audit exercise is concluded, and government has conveyed the new direction.
“However, where it is absolutely necessary, an exemption may be granted in writing by the commission following approval from the federal government. MNOs are to please note that non-compliance with this directive will be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license,” the statement reads.
Recent development shows that the NCC on Tuesday directed all mobile network operators to suspend the registrations of new SIM Cards in Nigeria owing to some illegal activities of con stars and other fraudsters to swindle citizens of their monies. The incessant rise of fraudulent and criminal activities has led to the loss of confidence of investors and also increased the rate of insecurity across the country.
Meanwhile, the minister, had earlier in January urged all citizens to secure digital identification from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) immediately and submit same to their network operators.