NCC Explains SIM Cards Deactivation

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Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs, NCC

Following the deactivation of unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards by operators, the Nigerian telecommunications regulatory authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that only those subscribers who register their SIM cards properly would have them reactivated.

This clarification, according to the NCC Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, has become necessary following the deluge of enquiries at the Commission some of which alluded to the impression that their SIM cards have been withdrawn permanently. “This is not the situation,” Ojobo said yesterday in the statement.

Meanwhile, the ultimatum to deactivate unregistered SIM card expired on Tuesday this week. But enquires as to the status of the SIM cards necessitated this statement.

It would be recalled that the operators were told among others to ensure compliance of all registration with the data dictionary, technical specifications on finger prints and facial images and the business rules agreed by all stakeholders.

Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs, NCC
Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs, NCC

According to him, the deactivation exercise and decision was a result of a meeting with the office of National Security Adviser (NSA), the Department of State Service (DSS), the NCC and operators “after which the operators were given one-week to deactivate those unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards.”

“The operators were specifically told that those subscribers whose lines were not registered and have not made any effort to register them should be communicated before deactivation.

“So the deactivation of these SIM cards is in line with that meeting. Subscribers who fail to register properly will have their lines deactivated but those who comply will have them reactivated.

“Proper registration means a subscriber’s facial pictures, properly captured, biometrics/finger prints, valid means of identification, address, among others,” he explained.

He said that these were part of the security measures to check incessant cases of crimes with the use of mobile phones.

“People hide under anonymity to commit crimes because their lines are not registered, but all that has to change as the network operators have been told what to do.”, he added.

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