Nigeria: Regulator NCC to Ban Sales of SIM Cards in Open Markets


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is planning to ban the sales of SIMs cards in open market across the country, a source told the Daily Trust.

A source in the commission said in Abuja, yesterday, that the regulator would soon meet with telecom operators to tell them of its plan. This development followed a recent Daily Trust report which said pre-registered SIM cards were still sold by agents of GSM operators, in spite of a ban.

The Daily Trust learnt that the commission was secretly combing major markets across Nigeria to confiscate the already registered SIM cards and arrest the vendors and dealers of the SIMs.

But NCC's Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said it was not true that the commission was planning to ban open sale of SIMs. "It is not true," he said. Speaking on phone, he added:

"We are only banning sale of pre-registered SIM cards." Meanwhile, the NCC has arrested four vendors selling pre-registered SIM cards at the popular Wuse Market in Abuja.

Mr Salisu Abdul, an assistant director, enforcement, at the NCC, tsaid after the arrest, last week, that the clampdown on those behind the pre-registered SIM would continue in other major markets in the country.

He said: "Today we have gone to MTN premises, we are now in Wuse Market. The purpose of the exercise is all about SIM registration. For some time, NCC has been trying to apply the SIM regulation so that all SIMs can be duly registered.

However, we have been having report that people are registering SIM cards and selling them to the general public. There is serious danger in doing that, it compromises national security. We have got report that in many locations in Abuja and nationwide this activity is ongoing."

Source: Daily Trust 12 September 2016