”. The Minister of Communications, Dr. Ibrahim Isa Pantami, yesterday gave the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) till September 26 to rectify all improperly registered SIM cards in the country.
Pantami who received the management team of the commission in his office in Abuja, however, commended the NCC for its ability to reduce the number of improperly registered SIM cards from 9.2 million to 2.42 million within one week.
He told the team led by its Chairman, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye that it had become necessary to ensure that not a single SIM card is being used in the country without proper registration considering the security implications and the challenges facing the country.
Pantami said, “Based on the report I received today from the NCC, within the period I issued a statement on improperly registered SIM and now, they were able to reduce the number significantly.
“Within this period, they were able to rectify at least over 6. 775 million lines with incomplete registration of SIM cards. So, the total number of incomplete registration of SIM cards as it is today based on the report I received is 2.42 million. So, the reduction within this period is about 73. 2 per cent.
“This is a significant achievement from 9.2 million we are back to 2.4 million. Within this period 6.775 million have been rectified and this highly commendable. I want to use this opportunity to commend the management and the Board of NCC as well as the entire ministry for the supervision.
“This is highly commendable. Please maintain the tempo. However, the next line of directive both with the support of the Board is that we want to make sure that by 26 September 2019, based on the report I received today, we don’t want a single incomplete registration of SIM in Nigeria.
“By 26 September 2019 we don’t want a single incomplete SIM, meaning that the remaining 2.4 million lines should be rectified before then. We want the management to immediately inform the Telecom companies.
“’After September 26, when a crime is committed and SIM is being used, we only need the number of that SIM and convey it to the regulator; within an hour we want to get the details of the person who committed that crime.
“Even if that cannot stop people from committing crimes, what we are interested in is to know the identity of the person who commits the crime. If we can do that I think a lot can be achieved. At least the identity can be presented to security agencies and they will be able to act”.
Pantami who said the security challenges facing the country has a lot to do with unregistered or improperly registered SIM cards, assured that the present administration would leave no stone unturned to improve on the welfare of the people especially in the areas of security.
He said the Board members who took their oath of office as administered by the Minister should not do anything that would jeopardize the confidence and trust repose on them by the President who appointed them.
The Chairman of the Board, Senator Durajaiye who congratulated the minister on his appointment assured that the NCC and its Board would continue to live up to the expectations of Nigeria and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.