SIM registration exercise to be investigated

20 Dec 2011

Nigeria’s House of Representatives is looking to launch an investigation into the country’s SIM registration programme, which was carried out by telecoms regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) during the year. Local newspaper THISDAY cites Chairman of the House Committee on Communications, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, as saying that the government will investigate how the funds allocated to the SIM registration project were utilised in view of the objectives of the NGN6.1 billion (USD37.2 million) exercise. ‘There have been a lot of things on that SIM card registration which we will have to look deeply into. A lot of money was spent on it and at this point in time, we have to know exactly what is on [the] ground. We have been asking the NCC questions on the issue but we are yet to get the answers. Because before you go into number portability, you must be able to first of all identify which subscribers were registered and which were not. The deadline was 30 September 2011 but it appears that up till now they’ve not been able to conclude the exercise,’ Ojo said.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the SIM registration exercise was kicked off in March 2011 in an attempt to reduce crime committed using cellular devices. The six-month programme was scheduled to conclude on 28 September 2011, but the deadline has been subsequently extended during the harmonisation process for an unspecified period to allow any remaining subscribers to register their details.