The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is committed to clamping down on the sale and usage of pre-registered SIM cards in the telecommunication industry.
The Southeast Zonal Controller of the commission, Mrs Emilia Nwokoro, disclosed this on Monday, when she paid a courtesy visit to the zonal office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.
Nwokoro described the usage of such SIM cards as a crime, saying that anyone caught selling pre-registered cards would be arrested and prosecuted.
She said that the commission had begun to mop up pre-registered SIM cards in the zone and advised subscribers with such cards to ensure that they completed the registration process.
She appealed to subscribers to always buy and register their SIM cards in controlled environments.
“The sale and usage of pre-registered SIM cards are illegal and that is why we are mopping up such cards.
“Our enforcement team is already in the field clamping down on those selling such cards by the roadside,” she said.
The zonal controller said that as a telecom regulator, the NCC had the responsibility of ensuring that the sector did not aid criminal activities.
On complaints of poor network service, Nwokoro said that subscribers were at liberty to take advantage of mobile number portability to get better service from any network of their choices.
“When a subscriber is not satisfied with the telecom operator, he has the right to port and this affords him the opportunity to change to any network of his choice while retaining his original number,” she said.
She called on subscribers to take advantage of NCC’s toll-free lines to send complaints about poor services in the sector to the commission.
She said that the commission had occasionally waded into issues relating to data roll-over, unsolicited messages, dropped balance and data depletion, among others.
Nwokoro said that the essence of the visit was to seek the collaboration of NAN in educating the public on how best to get value for their money.
Responding, the Southeast Zonal Manager of NAN, Mrs Maureen Atuonwu, said that the agency, being a flagship in the media industry, was willing to collaborate with NCC in line with its mandate.
Atuonwu said that the agency had the reach and human resources to disseminate the NCC’s programmes to the target audience.
“We are willing to partner with you and we have the reach to publicise your activities through our various services and products,” she said.