The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has shifted the date for the registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards in the country to May 1, from its initial date of March 1, 2010.
Giving consent to this development, Head, Media & Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said that the March 1, date was deferred due the Commissions discovery that a good number of SIM cards were pushed to the market with instant activation features.
“NCC wishes to inform all telecom service providers and consumers of telecom services that the deadline for the commencement of registration of all new SIM Card users in Nigeria, earlier scheduled for March 1, 2010, has been deferred to May 1, 2010,” he said.
As said by him, the deferment became imminent following the finding that large amount of SIM cards with instant activation features, were already distributed by the service providers before the earlier announcement, stressing that this could not have been cleared out before March 1, 2010.Muoka also explained that the window period from March 1, 2010 to May 1, 2010, has been given to the operating companies to clear the backlog of SIM cards currently in the market to allow for seamless registration of all new SIM cards from the new date.
He pointed out that NCC has directed all telecom operating companies to put all necessary arrangements in place to ensure that all new SIM cards are registered before they are activated with effect from May 1, 2010.
“The extended period will also give the service providers the extra time to finalize the installation of all necessary facilities for the registration,” he said. Muoka explained that the registration process would include the capture of the photograph and biometrics of the subscriber.
In the case of existing SIM card holders, necessary processes and procedures are currently being put in place to guarantee a smooth registration exercise. The general public and all relevant stakeholders will be notified in due course about the timing and how to proceed.NCC is the independent national regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in the country, responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.
NCC said its mission is to support a market driven telecommunications industry and promote universal access.
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