Don't Miss

Pre-registered SIMs: NCC fines GSM firms N53.8m

By on May 9, 2013

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday announced the imposition of N53.8m fines on four mobile telecommunication operators for contravening the rules on registration of Subscriber Identification Module cards in the country.

A statement issued in Abuja by Head of Media and Public Relations, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said 269 pre-registered SIM cards were either purchased or reported to it and confirmed by the operators.

Muoka said, “In furtherance of the ongoing enforcement of the provisions of the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations, 2011, the NCC has imposed fines on four mobile services operators for contravening the provisions on pre-registration of SIM cards in Nigeria.

“The fines imposed are based on the number of fully activated new SIM cards that were either reported to the commission or purchased in compliance with monitoring and enforcement exercises conducted by the commission, and validated by the offending network.

“Each of such pre-registered SIMs found attracted a penalty of N200,000. Accordingly,   Airtel Nigeria Networks Limited is liable to payment of a fine in the sum of N8.6m for the availability of 43 pre-registered SIM cards during the exercise.

“Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Limited, EMTS, is liable to pay a fine in the sum N5m for contravening on 25 pre-registered SIM cards, while Globacom Limited is liable to a fine in the sum of N11m on 55 pre-registered SIM cards.

“MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, on the other hand, is liable to pay the sum of N29.2m for contravening on 146 pre-registered SIM cards.”

Muoka said the service providers were given up to seven days to pay the fines, failure of which N500,000 would be charged for any additional day that the contravention persisted.

According to him, the commission in the notice of sanction to the service providers signed by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, and Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Ubale Maska, said the fines were in exercise of its discretionary powers.

He said this followed prior warnings in April 2012 that network service providers would be liable for breaches by their registration centres carrying out pre-registration of new SIM cards for sales, since it was the providers that activated the new SIM cards.