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NCC asked to shift SIM card registration date

By Udo Ibuot

LAGOS— THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been urged to consider pushing the March 1, 2010 commencement date for the registration of telecommunications subscribers in the country to July to enable the commission to handle the huge logistical requirements for the exercise and the challenges that operators would face.

The commission has also been advised to engage in massive publicity to inform consumers on the impending exercise and the consequences it will have on the ownership and continuing use of phones.

President of The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, who made the remarks in a statement in Lagos, said there were more than 70 million subscribers in the country, while the NCC had also released about 150 million SIM cards thereby saturating the market.

He said the registration of such a large number of telephone users over a period of six months was bound to return the nation to the dark days of NITEL monopoly because a number of the vendors the NCC had engaged, who were discussing with the operators, were not ready to handle assignments of such scale.

Ogunbanjo said: “A good cross section of our members and Nigerians in general are simply not aware of the impending exercise and the consequences that it will have on their ownership and continuing use of phones.

“While the NCC publication states that ‘all new SIM cards must be registered before activation,’ it, however, contradicts itself by indicating that registration is optional and that ‘valid identification documents are required for those seeking to register their SIM cards.’ This is rather misleading,” he said.


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