The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has insisted that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), their licensed agents and telecom subscribers must comply with the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) registration, activation and replacement procedures as set out in the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration.
Speaking at the 6th Edition of the Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR), a radio-based interactive consumer outreach programme of the Commission, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen, said that operators are to ensure strict compliance when registering their customers, the SIM card owners to have the responsibility to be vigilant to ensure that they are properly captured either for new SIM activation or SIM replacement.
“As the telecom regulator in Nigeria, our role is to enforce compliance with the extant SIM activation and replacement procedures in order to avoid problems that may arise in the event of stolen, lost, damaged SIMs or the need to upgrade SIM cards,” he said.
While asserting that compliance with the stipulated procedures for SIM replacement will forestall identity theft, fraudulent SIM swap and other deceitful activities that can be carried out with a SIM card, Idehen noted that SIM registration is significant to personal and national security.
He informed the listeners that, in accordance with the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration, all SIM replacements shall be undertaken by the service providers or their licensed agents in a controlled environment to eliminate the recurrent complaints of inconclusive SIM replacement procedures. He said such experiences have resulted in subscribers being defrauded by cyber fraudsters.
Idehen also advised telecom consumers to be wary of fake SIM registration agents purporting to be working for MNOs with the intent to defraud unsuspecting subscribers. He said one of the antics of such agents is to ask for the one-time password (OTP) forwarded to the consumer for activation of the SIM, especially after the SIM replacement process has been done. He warned telecom consumers to be wary of such scams.