The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has banned the registration of SIM cards in open and “uncontrolled environment”.
Head of Enforcement Unit at the Commission, Salisu Abdu, who disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists in Abuja said the commission had warned telecoms companies to stop agents from registering SIM cards under umbrellas since November last year.
“SIM registration should only be done in a controlled environment- a permanent building with logos and structures of the operators in place – with identities of the agents doing the registration.
“We came up with this so we will be able to trace where SIM cards are registered to stem the tide of rising crimes, especially kidnapping and militancy”, the NCC official said.
He said N5 million would be slammed on any dealer or operator who flouts the directive.
There are also indications that Nigerians might have to pay more for phone calls and telephone services very soon as the commission has commenced a review of the Mobile Voice Termination Rate in the telecom sector.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, made this known while speaking at the stakeholders’ forum on the cost-based study.
Prof. Umar Dambatta who said the Commission deemed it necessary to review the rate set in 2013 in view of the current market realities, added that the review was consistent with the Commission’s principle of ensuring participatory regulation in the telecom sector.
Highlighting the importance of the exercise, he pointed out that the telecom market requires a sound and functional interconnection regime to be able to fine-tune the regulatory regime.
According to him, this would help lead the Nigerian telecoms market towards full competition and effective regulation but would inevitably affect the unit cost of providing services, which would include interconnection and may lead to differences between regulated interconnection rates and underlying costs.
The Chairman of the commission had also recently said that Network Providers will henceforth be fined N5 million for any unsolicited text messages (SMS), it sends to subscribers.
Prof. Umar Danbatta disclosed this last month at the 46th convocation of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). Speaking on “The Role of ICT in Tertiary Education in Nigeria – NCC interventions.”
Also at the occasion, Danbatta explained that the commission has contributed over N1.4 trillion to the country’s economy since its inception.