Monday, March 28, 2011

At Last, NCC Begins SIM Registration in Abuja

All things being equal, Nigeria’s communications industry regulator,  the Nigerian Communications Commission, will today in Abuja FCT flag off the nationwide registration of existing SIM Cards in Nigeria estimated at more than 89 million.
Expected to be performed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, the flag off is a symbolic exercise indicating the Commission’s readiness to commence the registration of all existing SIM cards in the country over a period of six months after which no unregistered SIM card will be used in Nigeria.  
It should be recalled that mobile phone operators have been registering both new and old subscribers however, as at the time of the commencement of the registration, the operators were reported to have registered only some 12 million subscribers leaving a whopping over 77 million to be filled by the Commission alongside the operators within the period.
A statement by Reuben Muoka, head Media and Public Relations at NCC noted that the uniqueness of the NCC-implemented SIM registration is that all the lines owned by the subscribers can be registered at the same spot against the current practice whereby subscribers go from one operator to another to register their SIMs. The accredited registration companies are also expected to deploy staff across the nooks and crannies of the country during the period.
The statement further revealed that registration centres may not be available on all the designated spots across the country from the flag off date but are expected to grow in the course of the registration exercise.
Subscribers are required to provide any one of the following items of Identification at the registration centres: 
(i)   National Identity Card; or,
(ii)   International Passport; or,
(iii)  Drivers License; or,
(iv)   Authentication letter with passport photographs signed by traditional ruler/community leader, in the case of rural areas.  
In addition, biometric information of subscribers like finger prints and digital photograph are to be taken while registration is free.
The Commission has however warned that phone subscribers must provide truthful information about themselves as once this information is captured, it cannot be changed.

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