The Federal government has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC to go ahead and deactivate 2.24million improperly registered SIM cards on or before 25th September.
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Ibrahim Pantami issued the directive on Monday during the inauguration of the newly constituted Board of NCC.
Pantami, who frowned at the development, described as a security risk to the nation said the Commission, having rectified 6.775m out of the original 9.2m improperly registered SIM cards should proceed to cut off the remaining number.
He noted that SIM cards are usually involved in most of the crimes committed in the country, He however, directed the regulator to notify all Telecom operators that after September 25th any SIM that is involved in crime should be traceable to a particular individual.
He said: ‘‘I have breaking news for you after my announcement last week of the 9.2million SIM cards in circulation, NCC Executive Vice-Chairman has just briefed me that about 6.775million card have been rectified.
“We believe that on the 25th September, 2019, we don’t want to have single incomplete registration of SIM cards in Nigeria. This means we have only 2.24million yet to be rectified. So, we want them to be properly rectified on or before 25th September, 2019.” In that direction, we want the management to immediately inform the telecoms. After 25th of September if a crime is committed and SIM is used, we only need the number of that SIM from the regulator to know the identity of the person who committed the crime. With that a lot will be achieved. We will submit the identity to the security agencies.”
“From investigations, 99 per cent of crime committed in Nigeria, SIM card is involved. Before you think of any economic benefits, the constitutional responsibility of the executive is the protection of lives and properties.
“So the life of one innocent Nigerian is more important than any revenue the Federal Government may get as a result of engineering the implementation or registration of SIM cards because you cannot think of any economic benefit if the person is not alive.” He however, commended the commission for its efforts in reducing the number of improperly registered SIM cards in use in the country from 9.2 million to 2.42 million. News Express
Pix: NCC headquarters, Abuja