The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Wednesday handed down a seven-day ultimatum to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and other network providers to deactivate all pre-registered Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards or face sanctions.
It was gathered that the deadline was informed by the need to step up efforts towards improving on the security situations in the country.
According to a press statement issued by the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, the ultimatum was the fallout of a meeting between Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of State Service (DSS), the network operators and the NCC.
Ojobo said the meeting took into cognizance crimes committed against members of the public either by kidnappers, terrorists, robbers and threats to lives, through the use of such unregistered SIM cards across all the networks.
The statement noted that operators were however told to notify such subscribers before deactivation of their SIM cards.
At the meeting were the representatives of the NSA, Group Captain, Ibikunle Daramola, DSS, Mr. Godwin Ometu, the immediate past NCC Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Dr Eugene Juwah Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska and representatives of MTN, Globacom, Etisalat, Visafone , Airtel and others.
The statement reads; ” Seven days’ notice is hereby given for deactivation of all invalid/improperly registered SIM cards; these include all SIM cards without or improperly captured facial pictures and or finger – prints.
“Henceforth, all registrations must conform to the Data Dictionary, Technical Specifications on finger prints and facial images and the business rule agreed by all stakeholders.
“All registration records must be validated before sending to the Commission; thus eliminating all invalid records that does not conform new registrations and indicate same in the monthly reports sent to Commission.
“It was also resolved that operators will be held liable for cases for cases of pre-registered SIMs.
“Earlier grace of 21 days given by the Commission has lapsed.
“Accordingly, the Commission has commenced monitoring as from Monday, August 3, 2015.
“Sanctions for default will apply in accordance with the SIM registration regulations.”