Danger As ‘Recycled’ SIM Cards Flood Nigerian Streets, Markets

Improperly registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards have flooded Nigerian streets and markets as they are freely sold to willing buyers, Daily Trust reports.

With just N200 or less, customers who want the SIM cards for legitimate purposes or those with criminal intent get them from vendors selling by the roadside, in vans or wheel borrows.

This is against a ministerial directive one year ago for the blocking of all improperly registered SIM cards to stem insecurity and other crimes.

Mobile telecommunication providers were also asked to ensure all SIM cards were properly registered but findings revealed that shoddy deals remained prevalent across the country.

A lot of irregularities persist amidst insistence by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the regulatory body and the telecommunications companies that the right process is being followed.

Experts say it would be difficult for security operatives to contain acts of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and other sundry crimes when those perpetrating them have unlimited access to SIM cards.

On September 12, 2019, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, directed that all SIM cards not properly registered be blocked until they are fully registered.

Officials said the aim was to ensure that the over 184 million registered SIM cards/mobile lines across Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) networks had valid data that were traceable and not anonymous.

Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as at March 2020, showed that the number of improperly-registered SIM cards had dropped from 9.2m to 2.2m.

Reacting to our inquiries on the flouted rules and prevalence of improper SIM registration practices, NCC said it has regulatory provisions guiding the full deactivation and recovery of a dormant phone line.

The Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said a SIM card or a line that is dormant for up to a year can be reassigned and sold to a new user.



– Dailytrust

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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