By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), licensed agents and telecoms subscribers should always comply with the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) registration, activation and replacement procedures as laid down in the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Efosa Idehen, stated this during the 6th edition of the Telecoms Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR), on Treasure 98.5FM, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He urged operators to ensure strict compliance when registering their customers, stressing that the SIM card owners have the responsibility to be vigilant to ensure that they are properly captured.
“As the telecoms regulator in Nigeria, our role is to enforce compliance with the extant SIM activation and replacement procedures in order to avoid problems that may arise in the event of stolen, lost, damaged SIMs or the need to upgrade SIM cards,” he said.
Idehen added that in line with the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration, all SIM replacements shall be undertaken by the service providers or their licensed agents in a controlled environment, in order to eliminate the recurrent complaints of inconclusive SIM replacement procedures.
He also advised the telecoms consumers to be careful of fake SIM registration agents purporting to be working for MNOs with intent to defraud unsuspecting subscribers.
According to the Director, one of the antics of such agents is to ask for the one-time password (OTP) forwarded to the consumer for activation of the SIM, especially after the SIM replacement process has been done.
Addressing the requirements for SIM replacement, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the use of National Identification Number (NIN) is compulsory in addition to all other criteria stated in the SIM Replacement Guidelines.
Adinde, who was represented by the Port Harcourt Zonal Controller, Venny Eze-Nwabufoh, explained that using the NIN for SIM replacement is beneficial as it helps in identifying the real identity of a mobile phone user, limiting identity fraud, other network related crimes as well as improving national security.
Adinde also stated that the public sensitisation on SIM registration is in line with the obligation of the commission to ensure effective implementation of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration.
NCC officials and representatives of MNOs attended the event.