NCC Warns Against Purchase of Pre-registered SIM Card

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning to Nigerians against purchasing pre-registered SIM cards, stating that it is illegal and carries severe consequences. The announcement, made on the Commission’s X platform on Friday, emphasized that using pre-registered SIM cards can compromise the accuracy of consumer information.

“Buying pre-registered SIM cards is criminal and may lead to imprisonment, implication in identity theft, financial fraud, kidnapping, and armed robbery,” the post read in part.

The NCC highlighted that using a pre-registered SIM card impairs the accuracy of consumer data, making it difficult for authorities to identify and apprehend actual perpetrators of crimes.

The warning aims to educate the public about the risks associated with pre-registered SIM cards and to encourage compliance with legal guidelines to enhance national security. The commission urged the public to follow proper procedures for registering SIM cards to avoid legal consequences.

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Recently, Nigerian telecommunications companies directed their subscribers to link their SIM cards to their National Identification Numbers (NINs). This initiative, started by the Nigerian government in December 2020, aims to streamline the identification process and combat scams. The NCC made this linkage compulsory, instructing telecommunications operators to fully bar phone lines not linked to NINs.

There have been two phases of barring unlinked SIM cards—first on February 28 and second on March 29. The regulator has extended the final deadline for linking SIM cards to NIN from April 15 to July 31, 2024. This extension only applies to subscribers with more than four SIM cards.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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