Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards deactivated by operators would be restored, if the owners had them properly registered, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said.
Many affected subscribers have inundated the regulator with questions, seeking clarification as to the status of their phone numbers. The NCC has however stressed that only those subscribers who register their SIM cards properly will have them reactivated.
In a statement yesterday, NCC Director of Communication, Tony Ojobo, said the clarification became necessary following the deluge of enquiries at the Commission some of which alluded to the impression that their SIM cards have been withdrawn permanently. “This is not the situation,” Ojobo, said, adding that the deactivation exercise and decision was a result of a meeting with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Department of State Service (DSS), the NCC and operators “after which the operators were given one-week to deactivate those unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards.”
He explained that proper registration means “a subscriber’s facial pictures, properly captured, biometrics/finger prints, valid means of identification and address, among others,” adding that these are part of the security measures to check incessant cases of crimes with the use of mobile phones.
As he put it, “the ultimatum to deactivate unregistered SIM card expired on Tuesday this week. But enquires as to the status of the SIM cards necessitated this statement,” adding that operators were told among others to ensure compliance of all registration with the Data Dictionary, Technical Specifications on Finger prints and facial images and the business rules agreed by all stakeholder.