By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has inaugurated a 12- man taskforce to tackle rampant incidences of improperly registered, unregistered and pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards. The taskforce has the mandate to resolve Nigeria’s increasingly growing incidences and dangers of ‘security exposed’ SIM cards.
The 12-man taskforce was inaugurated recently after a meeting with all the telecommunications companies (telcos) operating in Nigeria at the NCC headquarters, Abuja.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta through a statement that was signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo noted that the meeting was the high point of several meetings initiated by the commission in the last two years with a view to finding solutions to the recurrent dangers of the improperly registered SIM cards in the country.
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“We must safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians who travel by road especially now and the festive seasons and others who may be threatened or blackmailed via unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards,” he said.
The taskforce which has six weeks to submit its report to the EVC is to look at the sources of these improperly and pre-registered SIM Cards by asking operators to look inwards to forestall insiders’ abuse as well as re-examine the 2015 agreement the commission had with telcos with a view to harmonizing that and add new solutions.
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It will also put in place proactive measures to nip criminals’ activities in the bud and suggest preventive measures for the telcos to beef up the integrity of their registering processes.
Members of the taskforce are Head, Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement at NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen who is the chairman; Head of Projects, Mr. Bashir Idris; Head, Legal and Regulatory Services, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye and Head, Enforcement, NCC, Mr. Salisu Abdu.
The telcos also have a member each which include Mr. Tobechukwu Okigbo (MTN); Mr. Oluwatosin Cole (GloMobile); Mr. Sola Adeyemi (Airtel) and Mr. Damian Udeh (ntel).
Others are Ikenna Iheme (9Mobile); Mr. Gbolahan Thomas (Smile) and Ms Barbara Anozia (Visafone); Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is represented by Major Emmanuel Akpan Bassey.