• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Operators sanctioned over pre-registered SIM cards

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In furtherance of the ongoing enforcement of the provisions of the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations 2011, the Nigerian Communications Commission has imposed fines on four mobile services operators for contravening the provisions on pre-registration of SIM Cards in Nigeria. The fines imposed are based on the number of fully activated new SIM Cards that were either reported to the Commission or purchased in compliance monitoring and enforcement exercises conducted by the NCC, and validated by the offending network. Each of such pre-registered SIMs found attracts a penalty of N200,000 ( Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

Accordingly, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd is liable to pay the sum of N29, 200,000 (Twenty Nine Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira for contravening on 146 pre-registered SIM Cards. The service providers were given up to seven days within which to pay the fine, failure of which attracts N500,000 ( Five Hundred Thousand) for any additional day that the persists.

Airtel Nigeria Networks Limited is liable to payment of a fine in the sum of N8, 600, 000 (Eight Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) for the availability of 43 pre-registered SIM Card during the exercise. Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Ltd, EMTS ( Etisalat) is liable to pay a fine in the sum N5,000,000 ( Five Million for contravening on 25 pre-registered SIM Cards while Globacom Limited is liable to a fine in the sum of N11,000,000 ( Eleven Million) on 55 pre-registered SIM Cards.

The Commission in the notice of sanction to the service providers signed by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, and Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Ubale Maska, said the fine is in exercise of its discretionary powers following prior warnings in April 2012 that Network Service Providers will be liable for breaches by their Registration Centres carrying out pre-registration of the New SIM Cards for sales, since it is the providers that activate these new SIM Cards.

“Based on the report of enforcement exercises against hawkers, agents and backend suppliers of fully activated pre-registered New SIM Cards in the year 2012, and first quarter of 2013, it has been established that there is an urgent need to sanction all Network operators who have not complied with the Direction” the Commission said.

Sim cards