Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set arraign three suspects to court for illegal SIM card registration in uncontrolled environment.
Addressing journalists after its enforcement team raided SIM card resellers recently in Gwarimpa, an outskirts of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the leader of the team, Mr. Salisu Abdu, said the warning issued on the issue elapsed since January.
According to him, the contravention of the registration directive attracts N5 million fine per day while refusal to meet the deadline attracts additional N500,000 per day.
The purpose of the enforcement exercise, Abdu explained, was to stop indiscriminate registering of SIM cards by agents of telecommunication companies.
“You are all aware that NCC issued a directive to all mobile operators to from February 1, 2017, to provide a controlled environment for registration of SIM cards. This controlled environment means a permanent structure that can be traced, a location that can be identified and also that the registration agent manning this centres are expected to have identity as well. Since the deadline ended on February 2, the NCC team is going to ensure that no agent does registration outside the controlled environment,” Abdu said.
According to the team leader, a controlled environment approved by NCC must be clearly delineated for that purpose, adding that it must be a permanent structure and must have the logo of the operator.
He said it is not NCC’s responsibility to do the publicity on the deadline as the operators who engaged the agents are supposed to carry out the sensitisation.
“It is the responsibility of the operators to do that because they actually engaged the agents. They should have told them what we have directed them to do. Adequate time has been given to the operators. The directive has been given since November 2016 that is barely four months. It is not for the operators to arrest these agents, it is the work of NCC to carry out the enforcement of its regulations and directives. We must ensure that those who breach the directives should face the law,” Abdu assured Nigerians.
While parading the suspects in Abuja, Abdu he said seven registration machines have been impounded pending further thorough investigation before they would be charged to court for the offenses.
“At the moment, we have arrested three violators and seven registration machines are impounded. So further investigation would be conducted by the Police and I believe we will able to trace the dealers who have assigned the agents.”