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A total of 2.2 million improperly registered SIMs have been deactivated, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.
Umar Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman, in a statement on Sunday, said all SIMs not properly registered across all the telecommunications networks had been deactivated.
Informed the statement: “By our records, all improperly-registered subscriber identification module (SIM) cards across mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria have been completely deactivated”.
He said the commission had been making efforts to ensure that all the 184 million registered SIM cards had valid data that were traceable.
Explained the EVC: “Our efforts received a boost, following the implementation of a September 12, 2019 ministerial directive that the NCC should compel service providers to block all improperly-registered SIM cards, pending when their owners regularise their registration”.
He said the NCC’s compliance monitoring team had reduced the number of improperly-registered SIM cards on mobile networks in the country to 9.2 million.
According to Danbatta, the NCC’s SIM registration industry task force commenced the second round of comprehensive verification audit of MNOs’ SIM card registrations.
This audit exercise was said to have been concluded in August 2019.
After the ministerial directive, the NCC said it reduced the number of improperly-registered SIM cards from 9.2 million to 2.2 million within a week.
Said he: “We have since initiated the second phase of SIM deactivation based on the Ministerial directive and as at today, we have completely deactivated the remaining 2.2 million lines on the networks.
“I also use this opportunity to restate the commission’s commitment to the periodic SIM data audit, continuous compliance monitoring exercise on the MNOs, as well as constant consumer education and engagement against using improperly-registered SIM cards”.
Danbatta said with the action, the commission would be able to address national security concerns, especially kidnappings, banditry, armed robberies, cattle rustling and other crimes associated with SIM cards across the nation and to ensure that all SIM cards are traceable to their real owners.