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Buyers of pre-registered SIM cards face jail term

By on October 2, 2015

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday warned telecommunication subscribers against buying preregistered Subscriber Identification Module cards.

The Acting Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, who spoke at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair, said selling, buying and using preregistered SIM cards was punishable by imprisonment.

The NCC boss, who was represented at the event by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said the use of preregistered SIM cards by criminal elements to perpetuate crimes in the country was unacceptable.

Danbatta said, “We must speak to you about the issue of preregistered SIM cards. This is where criminally-minded people have utilised other peoples’ identities or fraudulent information to register and distribute SIM cards that are bought by innocent subscribers and criminally-minded ones for the purpose of committing fraud without being traced as the number they use do not bear their identities.

“We request you to avoid buying or distributing preregistered SIM cards as this is a criminal act punishable by imprisonment. Anybody involved in the sale, distribution or use of preregistered SIM card is considered a threat to national security, and if caught, will face the ugly consequences.

“The service providers have already been directed to disconnect any of these cards as no active SIM card is expected to be functional after 48 hours on the network.”

Danbatta said the decision to undertake drastic deactivation of SIM cards that were not properly registered during the SIM card registration exercise was to ensure the collective and individual security of Nigerians.

“The security of lives and properties of this nation far outweighs our individual conveniences, hence, our apologies for all the inconveniences as we urge you to support the commission to achieve this successfully,” he added.

According to him, the commission has stepped up its efforts to monitor and improve the quality of service in the industry.

Danbatta said a quality of service task force had been inaugurated to identify and recommend appropriate solutions to the endemic problem of poor quality of service being rendered by telecommunications operators.

He also said that the commission was on a two-pronged approach to tackle the problem of unsolicited text messages.

These are a stakeholders’ meeting that will bring together Value Added Service providers and service providers, and a new regulation to tackle the menace.



One Comment

  1. emobosa

    October 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    NCC directors should tried for criminal charges before the formation of new board to look into the endemic poor services of the service providers that are too big for them to control because of bribery and corruption