The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on telecommunication companies and licensed agents to comply with the subscriber identity module (SIM) registration guidelines.
The call was made by Efosa Idehen, director, consumer affairs bureau, NCC during the commission’s flagship radio programme aired on Treasure FM 98.5, Rivers state.
In a statement issued by Ikechukwu Adinde director, public affairs, NCC, Idehen said consumers should be vigilant to ensure proper capturing, either for new SIM activation or SIM replacement.
He added that operators are to ensure strict compliance when registering their customers.
“As the telecom 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.
According to him, compliance with the stipulated procedures will forestall identity theft, fraudulent SIM swap, and other deceitful activities.
Making a reference to the policy, Idehen said all SIM replacements should be undertaken by the service providers or their licensed agents in a controlled environment to eliminate the recurrent complaints of inconclusive SIM replacement procedures.
“Such experiences have resulted in subscribers being defrauded by cyber fraudsters,” he said.
Speaking on the significance of SIM registration to personal and national security, he further advised telecom consumers to be wary of fake agents purporting to be working for mobile network operators (MNOs) with the intent to defraud unsuspecting subscribers.
“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,” he said.
“Telecom consumers to be wary of such scams.”
Adinde, represented by the Venny Eze-Nwabufoh, the commission’s zonal controller in Port Harcourt, said the use of the national identification number (NIN) for registration was compulsory, in addition to other criteria stated in the policy.
“Using the NIN for SIM replacement is beneficial as it helps in identifying the real identity of a mobile phone user, limiting identity fraud, and other network-related crimes as well as improving national security,” Adinde said.
The federal government, on Monday, directed telecommunication companies to bar outgoing calls on all unlinked lines.
So far, around 72 million unlinked SIM cards will be affected by the NIN-SIM linkage policy.
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