NIGERIAN Communications
Commission, NCC, has warned
telecommunication subscribers
against buying preregistered
Subscriber Identification Module,
SIM cards adding that appropriate
sanctions would be applied to
Acting Executive Vice Chairman,
NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta,
who spoke at the ongoing Abuja
International Trade Fair, said the
move was in efforts to ensure
that all SIM cards are properly
He said that selling, buying and
using preregistered SIM cards was
punishable by imprisonment and
urged those with such intentions
to desist.
The NCC boss, who was
represented at the event by
the Assistant Director, Public
Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka,
said the use of preregistered SIM
cards by criminal elements to
perpetuate crimes in the country
was unacceptable.
Danbatta said, “We must speak to
you about the issue of preregistered
SIM cards. This is where
criminally-minded people have
utilised other peoples’ identities or
fraudulent information to register
and distribute SIM cards that are
bought by innocent subscribers
and criminally-minded ones
for the purpose of committing
fraud without being traced as the
number they use do not bear their
“We request you to avoid buying
or distributing preregistered SIM
cards as this is a criminal act
punishable by imprisonment.
Anybody involved in the sale,
distribution or use of preregistered
SIM card is considered a threat to
national security, and if caught,
will face the ugly consequences.
“The service providers
have already been directed to
disconnect any of these cards as
no active SIM card is expected to
be functional after 48 hours on the
Danbatta said the decision to
undertake drastic deactivation
of SIM cards that were not
properly registered during the
SIM card registration exercise,
was to ensure the collective and
individual security of Nigerians.
“The security of lives and
property of this nation far
outweighs our individual
conveniences, hence, our apologies
for all the inconveniences as
we urge you to support the
commission to achieve this
successfully,” he added.
According to him, the
commission has stepped up its
efforts to monitor and improve the
quality of service in the industry.
Danbatta said a quality of service
task force had been inaugurated
to identify and recommend
appropriate solutions to the
endemic problem of poor quality
of service being rendered by
telecommunications operators.
He added that the commission
was also on a two-pronged
approach to tackle the problem of
unsolicited text messages.