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NCC summons telco CEOs to Abuja, mulls prosecution over sale of pre-registered SIM cards

NCC summons telco CEOs to Abuja, mulls prosecution over sale of pre-registered SIM cards
October 29
22:23 2017
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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has summoned chief executive officers (CEOs) of major telecommunications companies in the country to its headquarters in Abuja.

TheCable learnt that the commission took this step as a result of several complaints about pre-registered and fraudulently registered SIM cards being used for acts amounting to breach of security, criminality and fraud.

A source said Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of the commission, would read a riot act to the CEOs at a meeting on Monday.

“NCC has come under increased pressure as a result of the crimes committed with such SIM cards,” the source said.

“The commission is set to impose not only the MTN type of sanction but will now go after the executives of culprit operators who might face prosecution.

“If no action is taken, distortions may occur in the 149 million SIM database. NCC recognises the importance of having a complete database of registered SIM cards in order to aid the work of the security outfits in the country hence the renewed effort to ensure they are properly registered.”

In October 2015, NCC imposed a N1.04 trillion on MTN for its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, the fine was later slashed.

TheCable gathered that since the beginning of this year, NCC has gone after agents selling pre-registered SIM cards and imposed sanctions and fines on operators.

Documents seen by TheCable showed that last week, the commission slammed N11 million fine on Airtel, N10 million on 9Mobile, N10 million on MTN and N5.8 million on Glo for infractios.

Last year, the commission turned its SIM registration database to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) towards building a national database of biometrics that can serve security operations.

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