Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the deactivation of 2.2 million improperly registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards spanning all telecommunication networks nationwide.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, in a statement in Abuja signed by the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, said that the deactivation was in line with a President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on strengthening security of lives and property for all Nigerians.
“We have since initiated the second phase of SIM deactivation based on the ministerial directive. As at today (March 8), we have completely deactivated the remaining 2.2 million lines on the networks.
“This is contrary to reports by a section of the media, suggesting that nothing has been done with respect to the issue of improperly registered SIM cards.
“Following the September 2019 ministerial directive, however, the NCC, within a week, intensified efforts by reducing the number of improperly registered SIM cards from 9.2 million to 2.2 million.”
The Executive Vice Chairman said that over the years, the NCC had worked with determination and through various policy initiatives to rid mobile networks of improperly or invalidly registered SIM cards.
According to him, the latest action would ensure that the over 184 million registered SIM cards currently on Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) networks had valid data that were traceable and not anonymous.
He explained further: “Our efforts received a boost, following the implementation of a September 12, 2019 ministerial directive that the NCC should compel service providers to block all improperly-registered SIM cards, pending when their owners regularise their registration.
“As at the time the ministerial order was issued, the commission, through its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement team, had reduced the number of improperly-registered SIM cards on mobile networks in the country to 9.2 million, Danbatta.”