NCC Tags Pre Registered SIM As Felony

NCC Talks Tough On Pre registered SIM
…Tags It As Felony
By Pelumi Olaleye
Nigeria telecoms umpre, Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), said any one involving in fraudulently registering Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards would serve as 25 years imprisonment from the Felony tag.
According to the Commission, henceforth,  once an agent engaging in pre-registered SIM cards is arrested, the culpability in such a case will cascade to other players in the SIM registration value chain including the super agents,  the Heads of Marketing of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and possibly the Chief Executives of licensees, who illegally benefit from such illegal SIM registration activities to meet their marketing targets.
This was stated by the Executive Commissioner,  Stakeholder Management,  NCC,  Mr.  Sunday Dare, during the South-South regional sensitisation workshop on the dangers of fraudulently-activated SIM cards organised by the Commission in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State.
Based on invalid face capturing and fingerprints, 63.2 per cent of registered SIM subcribers have been recorded invalid.
Since SIM registration started in 2011, 151,449,837 registered subcribers have been recorded, with only 55,749,652 valid subcribers.
He further stated that cases of fraudulently-registered SIM cards, and  anonymity of the registered subscribers, have been aiding and abeting robbery cases, kidnappings, financial frauds and all manners of criminalities thereby,  making criminal investigation difficult for the law enforcement agencies.
Dare, who was represented at the forum by the Director,  Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement at the Commission,  Mr. Efosa Idehen, explained that the recent development was as a result of eight years of continuously fighting cases of fraudulently-registered or activated  SIM cards by the Commission starting from 2012, without appreciable compliance by the MNOs  and their different layers of registration agents across the country,  thereby constituting threats to national security and geopardising national interests.
He further explained that, aside several sanction provided in the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations  2011 for improperly-registered SIM cards per SIM cards,  penalty for violation,  imposition of N1 million on person found to be dealing with subscriber information in a manner inconsistent with the Regulations, arrest and prosecution,  among others, which the Commission  has been enforcing.
 “NCC will begin to plead national security and national interests against anybody found culpable of fraudulently-registered SIM cards in the telecom industry.”
Aside representing Dare at the event, Mr. Idehen, made a separate in-depth presentation on dangers of dealing in pre-registered SIM cards.
He emphasized on the various regulatory interventions already implemented and other ongoing initiatives all aimed at enforcing broad-range compliance with SIM registration rules in the last eight years.
“Unfortunately,  despite the level of stakeholder engagements, sanction so far imposed, arrests made and prosecutions secured through working with law enforcement agencies,  among others the level of compliance with the SIM registrations rules by the various players across the SIM registration value chain remains unsatisfactory,” he said.