The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned telecommunication companies, agents and dealers over sale of pre-registered SIM cards, noting that they pose serious threat to national security.
The commission Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, gave the warning at a one-day regional sensitisation workshop on “Dangers of Dealing on Fraudulently Activated SIM cards” in Gombe.
Represented by his deputy, Salihu Abdu, he observed that the aim of the registration exercise was for easy identification of mobile telephone users, adding that the world over, connectivity was creating huge opportunities for citizens. Idehen said some agents of mobile networks produce fully activated SIM cards with fraudulent details and sell same to customers.He cautioned: “Such an act is totally unacceptable. NCC has arrested some agents and they have been charged to court. We are not going to compromise on the issue of driving those involved in the practice out of market.
“Some unscrupulous people abuse the connectivity to make life difficult for others, hence the need to carry out basic know-your-customer processes on our users.“Unfortunately, the subscriber registration journey has not been as smooth as it should be, given the very comprehensive efforts that went into the design of the process.”
Idehen added: “It is painful to note that we still have cases of sale of pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, breach of SIM registration processes, fraudulent registrations and other breaches.“To address these concerns, the NCC organised several meetings and sensitisation workshops with different stakeholder groups across the industry at different points in time.
“Some registration agents were arrested, machines confiscated, huge caches of fully activated SIMs confiscated, suspects prosecuted, fines imposed among others.”Notwithstanding its efforts to rein in the perpetrators, the commission has still confirmed the existence of pre- and improperly registered SIMs in every nook and cranny of the country.
The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare, represented by his Special Assistant, Babatunde Akpeji, corroborated Idehen, adding that the registration of SIMs also aids easy detection of crimes perpetrated via mobile phones.