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NCC’s DPA Henry Nkemadu speaks on fate of 2.2million Sim cards users blocked by telcos 

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Dr. Henry Nkemadu
Following a report submitted to the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday, 26th September, it is now confirmed that a total of 2,277,311 improperly registered lines have been blocked.

As earlier reported, 6,830,249 lines have been revalidated since the directive was given. Dr Pantami has reiterated the need for all improperly registered SIM cards to remain blocked until they are properly registered.

What led to the directive to deactivate the sim cards?

As earlier reported, stakeholders including the Minister, NCC, telcos and subscribers align with the school of thought that the improperly registered sim cards are potential threats to the nation’s security.

Thus it was found that some of the sim cards registrations were invalidated as some contain four to five errors either in misspelling of names, addresses or deliberate supply of fake data to deceive the system.

Speaking to TechEconomy.ng, Director of Public Affairs (DPA) at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu,  gave idea on how the affected subscribers can be re-admitted by the network operators.

He said,  “For the avoidance of doubt, NCC has been on this matter for some time  now; even the telecom operators sent notification to the affected subscribers to visit their centres and rectify the defective registration.

“As TechEconomy.ng and other platforms reported, over six million subscribers complied but the remaining subscribers didn’t. So, as a regulator that believes in due process and following the Minister’s directive, we have to comply for the sake of national security and even for proper database of subscribers”.

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What is the fate of the affected subscribers?

When asked about the fate of the affected sim card users, Dr. Nkemadu said, “As at now they are barred from receiving or initiating a call from the sim cards. They can’t send or receive SMS/text messages.

“It is important that we get the data right. In a situation whereby some subscribers would infuse dash in a name as though it is a compound name whereas it is not; such registration is defective and must be addressed.

“However, there is still a life line for them. They have to approach the operators to rectify the revalidate data and such Sim Card will be activated,” he added.

Earlier, a statement by the Deputy Director/Head, Information/Press & PR Unit at the Ministry, Philomena Oshodin (Mrs), reads “This achievement within 36 days of Dr Pantami’s assumption of office is unprecedented. The Honourable Minister wishes to sincerely appreciate the Regulator and the Telecom Operators for working hard to carry out the directive in record time”.

The Minister urges them to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the momentum is sustained.

“The Federal Ministry of Communications is collaborating with the relevant parastatals and security Agencies to ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that the security of lives and property in the nation is not compromised through the use of SIM cards. Pursuant to this, Dr Pantami has directed that the profiles of persons linked to crime, aided and abetted by the use of SIM cards, should be promptly provided to the relevant security agencies when requested and a copy be sent to him for monitoring.

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“The Ministry will continue to work with relevant parastatals and security agencies in the background to ensure that SIM card numbers are not used as a platform for committing crime”.

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