***Insists pre-registration of SIM cards remain illegal
By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warned telecommunications subscribers not to delay further in linking their SIM cards and National Identity Number (NIN).
It said further delay in taking the advantage of the recent extension of the earlier deadline could catch some of them napping as the federal government may no longer extend the existing deadline.
It also warned subscribers not to stop purchase or use pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, which according to him remains illegal and criminal act.
The Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen sounded these warnings at a maiden edition of Telecom Consumer conversation entitled: Getting Consumer to Know Their Rights, held at Garki International Market, Abuja.
He highlighted the rights of telecom consumers to quality telecommunications services, timely response by the operator, and affordable charges and urged them to always report any infraction to the NCC toll-free line 622 whenever the need arises.
While acknowledging the role of telecom sector in the development of the society and the economy, Efosa charged telecom consumers to always abreast themselves with their rights, privileges, and obligations in order not to be abused.
He further warned against the patronage of pre-registered SIM noting that anyone found using (or selling or otherwise transacting with) such SIM cards will be fined and jailed upon conviction.
He said; “Those who trade in and use pre-registered SIM cards pose a serious threat to our individual and collective safety because such criminal elements hid their real identities while using such SIM cards to perpetrate nefarious activities such as kidnapping and financial crimes in the society.
“The Commission urges consumers to report infractions of the SIM registration laws and guidelines to law enforcement agencies because it is a noble civic responsibility to do so and worthy support to NCC’s effort in eradicating such dangerous activities in our society. he concluded.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission is a regulatory body for the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria.
“The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient the Independent National Regulatory Authority telecommunications services throughout the country.
“The Commission plays a vital role in National Security and works very closely with the ONSA, Security Agencies, CBN, MNO’s and other relevant bodies at ensuring security in the use of the telecom network.
Also, worthy of mentioning is the Commission’s proactive intervention in nipping the cases of call masking in the bud; working with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the administration has taken drastic actions to identify culprit licensees and sanction them accordingly”, he stated.
Vanguard News Nigeria