Protecting the identity of Telecommunication subscribers is an obligation to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). In the effort to shun the nefarious Act of some subscribers, NCC enforcement units, had embarked on country-wide raids. One of the major reasons for Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) card registration, was actually flagged by Nigerian Communications Commission in March 2011, is to improve national security. This again, disturbs on the need for telecommunications subscribers to guard the usage of their line jealously, because it carries their identity and may have security implication on them if nefariously used.
The commission uses the means in facilitating the collection of data about the Phone usage in Nigeria, to enable operators to have a surmised profile about uses in their networks. At the process, the commission was amazed and expressed disappointment to discover that some unscrupulous vendors were selling per-registered SIM cards, to subscribers. This compared the commission to swing into action, arresting some street vendors in various parts of the country. May while the per-registered SIM cards were impounded, this made the commission’s intelligence unit to remain watchful to nip such nefarious act perpetrators.
Beyond this, the commission had also in most media advertorials warned that “ the consequences for per-registering, selling or buying of such new SIM cards may warrant arrest, detention, investigation, sanction and possibly persecution in accordance with the Nigerian communications Act, 2003 and the Regulations for the registration of telecommunication subscribers 20011’.
At the starting of the SIM registration exercise, to make it consolatory and absolutely accessible to all subscribers, Nigerian Communications Commission had employed the services of six(6) consultants, each wagering one of the six Nigeria Geo-political zones. Also the deployment of over two thousand (2000) registration centers, the exercise ran simultaneously with the operators’ registration for ten months and is still ongoing as the operators are required to register new lines at the point of buy.
However, the body has never ceased its various awareness campaigns for the telecoms users as a way of promoting the industry forward it has also promised to deliver a clean and credible database of all mobile phone users in the country at the end of its exercise. It is also to be aware of all the policies and actions of the regulator are actually made towards protection of the subscribers’ interest. This had been articulated in my previous publication as an obligation of the commission; the development of the telecommunication industry is paramount to NCC, and of course national development.
- The Relevance of Communication Networks in Nigeria
- Processes of Porting to a desired network in Nigeria
The commission uses this means to move to protect the identity of the subscribers through the mandatory registration of all SIM. I use this medium to advice subscribers the need to be security conscious by not purchasing per-registered SIM cards. The same goes to those who deal in per-registered SIM products, it is obvious that the commission means business; anybody caught will be made to dance to the tone of the law.
This will go a long way, helping to combat diverse social menace, like kidnapping and other social fraudulence acts.
Importance of SIM Registration
Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration is actually a process of recording and authenticating the personal details of a subscriber by a network providers.
This exercise embarked on by Nigerian Communications Commission is aimed primarily to the reduction of mobile phone related crimes in Nigeria, such as: prank calls, cyber terrorism, kidnapping, money laundry related issues and general security matter.