Nigeria’s telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday announced plans to conduct an audit of the nation’s telecommunication Subscriber Registration Database in the face of growing insecurity in the country.
The NCC also ordered the suspension of sales of new SIM cards by operators in the period of the audit exercise.
According to a statement by the industry regulator, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has directed the commission to embark on an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
The NCC has, therefore, directed Mobile Network Operators to immediately suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow the audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
The statement signed by the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde said it was absolutely necessary for operators to comply until the audit exercise had been concluded.
He said although an exemption could be granted to telecoms firm on the subject matter, such exemption would be subjected to approval from the Federal Government through the Commission.
He warned that non-compliance with the directive would be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.
Adinde said the audit would help to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise.
He explained that the objective of the audit exercise was to ensure compliance with set quality standards and requirements by mobile network operators.
He said the directive became necessary in view of the preponderance of pre-registered SIMs with the attendant security implications associated with the use of same to facilitate criminal activities.
Registration of SIM cards by subscribers was made mandatory for few years ago by the regulator in a bid to checkmate criminality and the use of unregistered phones to commit crimes.
However, the process has not been seamless in the sense that many kidnappers and bandits still conduct their criminal activities using mobile phones without being detected.