National Security: NCC Set To Implement ‘No National Identity Number, No SIM Card Registration Law’
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By Rommy IMAH
In its efforts at engendering security of lives and property for economic development of Nigeria, the country’s telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that in collaboration with all stakeholders, it has set in motion mechanisms for compliance with the National Identification Number Regulations 2017.
The regulation provides that a person must provide his or her National Identity Number (NIN) in order to register a telephone SIM card.
Speaking on Friday at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) held in Lagos, Excecutive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta stated that the Commission has been engaging in continuous verification exercise of the SIM data collected by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and their SIM registration agents across the country in order to deliver on its mandate.
Prof. Danbatta who was represented at the event by Mr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head, Online Media and Special Publication at the NCC, noted that the regular verification exercise is part of the Commission’s consistent regulatory interventions at ensuring credible subscriber data.
“I, therefore, would like to use this opportunity to encourage Nigerians who want to acquire new SIM cards, for one reason or the other, to ensure that they obtain a National Identity Number (NIN) first,” Danbatta appealed.
The EVC assured Nigerians that the NCC, in its renowned effective regulatory character, remains consistent in its commitment to using telecoms to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government, which are to improve the economy, enhance security of lives and property and to fight corruption in the society.
Danbatta recalled that in the past 18 years, the Nigerian telecoms sector has recorded enormous growth, resulting to a sectoral cumulative investment profile of $70 billion, with the number of active telephone lines in the country currently at about 175million, representing a teledensity of 91.65 per cent; the number of Internet users standing at 122.6million, and broadband penetration currently standing at 35 per cent.
“At 11.39 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecom subsector remains a major actor in the national economy. Indeed, as at the second quarter of 2019, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent. Today, the positive impacts of telecoms sector- either voice or data resonate in other sectors of the economy and in all the aspects of our daily interactions,” Danbatta said.
The event themed “Economy, Security And National Development: The Way Forward In Nigeria,” had in attendance such personalities as Rt. Hon. Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State; His Lordship, Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese among others.