The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has urged the public to be wary of the purchase, usage, and sales of pre-registered SIM cards, warning that doing so constitutes a criminal offence.
Ayanbanji Ojo, head, the consumer policy development and monitoring department at NCC, stated this on Thursday at the ‘NCC Day’ at the Abuja International Trade Fair.
He reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensuring fair competition and a level playing field for all stakeholders in the telecommunication industry, particularly in safeguarding the interest of consumers from abuse of their rights and privilege, and against unfair practices in the telecom service value chain.
“This commitment is demonstrated by the commission’s continuous effort to establish seamless programs that will Protect, Inform, and Educate (PIE Mandate) telecom consumers through various consumer-centric initiatives.
“A consumer should be aware that buying pre-registered SIM cards is a criminal offense in Nigeria.
“Campaign on NIN-SIM Linkage is to help improve security in the country. Direction on roll-over of data: service providers have been directed to roll over unused data at the expiration of a data plan provided it is renewed within the stipulated time.
He recalled that the NCC had directed all licensed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to commence implementation of approved Harmonized Short Codes (HSC) for providing services to Nigerian telecom consumers.
For him, the measure initiated by the commission is a bid to improve the Quality of Experience (QoE) of consumers across all mobile networks.
“The new initiative will enable consumers using the over 223 million active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria to use the same codes to access services across all networks. For instance, the same code *310# will be used for checking airtime balance across all the networks,” he said.
Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC) noted that the telecommunications sector has been a strategic driver of the digital economy agenda of the federal government, as it continues to provide the needed digital stamina to support the economy, especially through technology.