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SIM registration: NCC threatens to sanction defaulting operators

By on July 2, 2013

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said that any digital mobile operators that fail to disconnect unregistered subscribers will face sanctions from the regulatory agency.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said no operator would go unpunished if it failed to comply with the directive to switch off all unregistered subscribers.

He said, “No extension of time has been given and we have given directive to all operators to disconnect all unregistered SIM cards.

“We are not going to sit down at the switches of the operators, but we know how to monitor them. If we establish any non-compliance, they will be sanctioned. For now, we don’t have the number of SIM cards that have been disconnected but are we monitoring the situation.”

Our correspondent had reported that about 19.16 million subscribers across the country might be disconnected from mobile telecommunication networks following the directive from the regulatory agency.

This represents the number of subscribers that were not registered during the national Subscriber Identity Module card registration exercise that kicked off in the country on February 28, 2011.

Sources had indicated that the SIM card registration exercise recorded about 80 per cent success.

This means that about 20 per cent of the nation’s active subscriber base was not registered by the time the first phase of the exercise ended.

As at the time the exercise ended, the subscriber base stood at 95,886,714. Twenty per cent of this base sums up to 19,117,342 subscribers.

Although the active subscriber base has since surpassed 110,000,000, new subscribers could not be involved in the calculation as additional subscribers must have registered before their SIM cards were activated.

There was also a last minute attempt by operators to encourage subscribers to register their SIM cards before the new deadline that ended on Sunday.

Most mobile operators promised one form of reward or the other to subscribers on their networks to get them to register their lines.