The The Nigerian Communications Commission has declared that registration of 95.7 million invalid subscribers are fuelling crimes like kidnapping in the country.
According to the Commission, a total of 151,449,837 registration data of subscribers have been processed, with only 55,749,652 records valid, making 63.2 per cent of the total records invalid based on invalid face capturing and fingerprints, since the SIM registration exercise started in 2011.
The Commission warned that it would no longer be business as usual for perpetrators of fraudulently registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards as it will henceforth prosecute those indulging in the illegal activity for felony with a 25-year imprisonment as prescribed by law.
It stated that, once an agent engaging in pre-registered SIM cards is arrested, the culpability in such a case will cascade to other players in the SIM registration value chain, including the super agents, the Heads of Marketing of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and possibly the chief executives of licensees who illegally benefit from such illegal SIM registration activities to meet their marketing targets.
This was disclosed by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, who stated this during the South South regional sensitisation workshop on the dangers of fraudulently activated SIM cards organised by the commission in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He explained that aside several sanctions provided in the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2011 for improperly registered SIM cards, penalty for violation, imposition of N1m on a person found to be dealing with subscriber information in a manner inconsistent with the regulations, arrest and prosecution, among others, which the commission had been enforcing, the NCC “will begin to be placing national security and national interest against anybody found culpable in fraudulently registered SIM cards in the telecoms industry.”