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Deactivation of SIM Cards: we didn’t order total withdrawals, Says NCC

The Nigerian communications Commission, NCC has corrected the impressions widely assumed by the public that the current deactivation of improper registered SIM cards means the owners have lost such SIMs.

NCC said the exercise was meant to deactivate unregistered sims and give opportunity to those whose registrations had one defect or the other to be deactivated in order to be properly registered.

According to the Director public Affairs of the commission, mr Tony Ojobo, “Following the deactivation of unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards by operators, the Nigerian Communications (NCC) says that, only those subscribers who register their SIM cards properly will have them reactivated.

This clarification has become necessary following the deluge of enquiries at the Commission some of which alluded to the impression that their SIM cards have been withdrawn permanently. “This is not the situation,” a statement by NCC Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo said yesterday.

According to him, the deactivation exercise and decision was a result of a meeting with the office of National Security Adviser (NSA), the Department of State Service (DSS), the NCC and operators “after which the operators were given one-week to deactivate those unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards.”

The operators were specifically told that those subscribers whose lines were not registered and have not made any effort to register them should be communicated before deactivation.

“So the deactivation of these SIM cards is in line with that meeting. Subscribers who fail to register properly will have their lines deactivated but those who comply will have them reactivated,” Ojobo said.

“Proper registration means a subscriber’s facial pictures, properly captured, biometrics/finger prints, valid means of identification, address, among others,” he explained.

Ojobo said that these are part of the security measures to check incessant cases of crimes with the use of mobile phones.

“People hide under anonymity to commit crimes because their lines are not registered, but all that has to change as the network operators have been told what to do.”

The ultimatum to deactivate unregistered SIM card expired on Tuesday this week. But enquires as to the status of the SIM cards necessitated this statement. The operators were told among others to ensure compliance of all registration with the Data Dictionary, Technical Specifications on Finger prints and facial images and the business rules agreed by all stakeholder.

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