- Telecoms Regulators to Require SIM Card Registration to Curb Cell Phone-Related Crimes – Nigeria
Posted 2 years ago ago by admin
Law Firm in Lagos: Blackfriars LLP
The recent direction by the Ministry of Information and Communications to the effect that all mobile telecoms operators selling new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards must obtain the data of prospective subscribers and that all previously obtained SIM cards must be registered without delay is no doubt a good policy aimed at reducing the incidents of technology related crimes.
These crimes ranging from fraud, kidnapping, threats, and intimidation have for long affected Nigerians preventing free movement, business and social interaction.
While acknowledging the benefits of SIM card registration, it must not be forgotten that the successful implementation and continuity of the policy may pose a great challenge to its realisation since there is no organised
For instance, countless number of SIM cards used in the country is obtained from unregistered outlets from street hawkers who lack the necessary facilities to capture data from prospective buyers. Again, assuming the facilities for registration are in place, people could easily falsify their identities as there is no comprehensive database of Nigerians that could assist in verification of identities.
Regrettably, some of the telecoms operators who have a major role to play towards the registration are resisting the idea, probably to avoid disclosing the true position of their subscriber base.
In the light of these challenges, it is necessary to establish a right framework for the proper take-off of the policy. The cooperation of the stakeholders in telecommunications should be secured to guarantee success. Thereafter, well defined and identifiable outlets that could return captured data to the main operators should be established.
To solve the problem of identification, at least for future purposes, comprehensive data of births and deaths should be obtained and information collated should be transferred to a reliable national database.