The Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) has issued a stern warning to telecommunications companies operating in the country to immediately stop the sale of pre-registered SIM cards.
In a statement signed by the Director of Public Communications, Tony Ojobo, the Commission warned of dire consequences for flouting the relevant sections of the law prohibiting sale of pre-registered SIM.
The statement reads,
“It has come to the notice of the Nigerian Communications Commission that despite regulations and directives against the sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards, Operators through their Dealers/Agents are still selling pre-registered SIM cards in several parts of the country.
We wish to reiterate and draw attention to the following provisions:
Sections 19 and 20 of the Nigerian Communications Commission (Registration of Telephone Subscribers) Regulations, 2011 state that:
19. (1) Any licensee who fails to capture, register, deregister or transmit the details of any individual or corporate subscribers to the Central Database as specified in these Regulations or as may be stipulated from time to time by the Commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each subscription medium.
(2) A licensee who activates any Subscription Medium without capturing, registering and transmitting the personal information to the Central Database commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of
N200, 000.00 for each unregistered activated Subscription Medium.
20. (1) Any licensee who activates or fails to deactivate a subscription medium in violation of any provision of these Regulations is liable to pay a penalty of
N200,000.00 for each unregistered but activated subscription medium.
(2) Where the Commission is satisfied that a body corporate is culpable, the Director, Chief Executive Officer, Manager or Secretary shall also be liable to pay a fine of
N200, 000.00 unless, having regard to the nature of his functions in that capacity and to all the surrounding circumstances, he proves that-
(i) the offence was committed without his knowledge, consent or connivance; and
(ii) he took all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to prevent the Commission of the breach.
Accordingly, Operators and their appointed Dealers/Agents are hereby warned to desist forthwith from the practice of pre-registering SIM cards and selling same in the open market in violation of the above stated provisions. The general Public is also notified to stop purchasing pre-registered SIM cards and insist on being registered personally for any new SIM card purchased.
All violators will face stiff sanctions as the NCC will enlist the assistance of law enforcement agencies to address and curb this menace.
Director, Public Affairs