Deactivate unused SIMs or be sanctioned, says NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said it has given telcos order to deactivate any subscriber identity module (SIM) card that was registered but unsused after 48 hours.

Its Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, who dropped the hint yesterday in Lagos, said ongoing SIM card registration by the telcos has reduced criminal activities perpetrated via the use of mobile phones.

Speaking on: Trackable Identity and Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria at a function organised by public relations practitioners, he said trackable identity has become a sine qua non to ease of doing business.

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He said: “In spite of whatever challenges, the global trend is for all citizens to be registered, and for each citizen to be covered with a legal identity including birth registrations.

“Citizen registration is now an item in post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda with 2.4 billion people identified as having no official identity and these people reside in Africa and Asia.

“While traditional identification rely on passwords, PINs, smart cards, and the likes, biometric identification, using finger prints and iris scans are generally more reliable and secure. They are adopted more universally like in driving licences and international passports.

“Biometrics identity are also more reliable in linking individuals to event and actions. It is therefore preferred by security institutions in fighting crimes.”

He urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to identity management in the country, arguing that the existence of a central data base for the citizens which potential investors can depend on would engender trust and reliability.

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