THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday uncovered 9.2million improperly registered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in use across the networks in the country.
Communications Minister, Dr Ibrahim Pantami, has ordered the disconnection of such lines from the network.
The discovery of the ‘rogue’ SIM cards was contained in the baseline short-term performance targets report of the Commission sent to the minister.
The minister had on assumption of office, directed all agencies and parastatals under Communications Ministry to submit short-term performance targets.
The spokesperson to the minister, Uwa Suleiman in a statement, explained that the report was signed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Garba Dambatta.
“The Commission in its report said an estimated 9.2 million SIM cards did not comply with the proper procedures of SIM registration. The investigation which was carried out at the behest of the minister, has exposed for the first time in the telecoms history of Nigeria, in precise detail, the magnitude of defaulters,” the statement said.
Reacting to the report, Dr Pantami expressed concern over the security implication of the discovery and further directed that the telecoms regulator, should with immediate effect, ensure that all improperly registered numbers are duly reregistered.
To ensure maximum compliance, Dr Pantami, has directed NCC to ensure that all mobile network operators block all SIM cards that do not meet proper registration standards until users comply with proper reregistration procedures.
“The security implication of this irregularity is too grave to ignore and the Federal Ministry of Communications will not tolerate any actions or inactions that will compromise the nation’s security,” Pantami said.