By Laide Akinboade
ABUJA — Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, yesterday, blamed late passage of the N6.1 billion budget for sim card registration by the National Assembly for delayed take off of the exercise.
He said there was no going back on the proposed Subscribers Identity Module, SIM, registration, adding that collected data, after verification, would be stored at the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, for future reference.
It would be recalled that there were lots of controversies on the use of N6.1 billion to register GSM users in the country, which generated wild and wide condemnation.
But recently, the National Assembly passed the budget and gave the commission the go ahead.
According to Juwah, “we are yet to start the sim card registration due to the fact that the National Assembly just passed the N6.1 billion budget that would be used to finance the registration.
“The previous practice whereby anybody could buy a sim card and immediately activate same without any records was expedient at the time but in view of the fact that criminal elements are now using this loophole to perpetrate crimes, it has become necessary to register all subscribers.”
He said the question of where the nation would keep such data had been resolved by the proposed establishment of National Identity Management Commission, NIMC.
He said the NCC would be the one to manage NIMC and subscriber information would not be allowed to be transferred outside the country.
He assured all Nigerians that once the exercise start commence there would be a sustained media campaign and the registration would only last for six months.