NCC Refute Disqualifying Nigerians From Getting SIM
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has denied claims that it is working on a rule that will prevent Nigerians under the age of 18 from receiving Subscriber Identity Modules, or SIMs.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, issued a statement on Thursday denying the allegations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to emphasize unequivocally that the aforementioned report is not only false and deceptive;
However, the proceedings of the Public Inquiry on the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, which took place on Tuesday, October 6, 2021, were misrepresented.
“The Commission believes it is necessary to correct the record in order to provide accurate information to existing and potential telecom subscribers, investors, and other industry stakeholders in order to make informed decisions,” the statement reads in part.
The public inquiry was held for all relevant stakeholders to provide input on the draft regulatory instrument in accordance with sections 70 and 71 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, and the Commission’s consultative engagement process, which define its rule-making process, according to the NCC.
It added that the suggested age of 18 for SIM acquisition in the draft regulation was based on a constitutional requirement that renders the age of consent in Nigeria 18 years old.
It went on to say that SIM purchase was a contract between service providers and their subscribers, and that the subscriber had to be of legal age, of sound mind, and rational enough to shoulder the responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities that the contract imposed.
“As a result, the idea is designed to safeguard minors.” Parents and guardians can purchase SIM cards in their names on behalf of their children and wards, and they will be responsible for any duties or liabilities that arise as a result of their use, a step that is supposed to improve national security.
“While the Commission is gradually pushing digital inclusion for all, the draft proposal is meant to ensure increased supervision of children and protect minors from unnecessary responsibilities in line with the NCC’s Child Online Protection program,” according to NCC.
The commission, on the other hand, stated that the consultative engagement process was still underway, and that it was analyzing all input from key stakeholders in that regard, and that it would evaluate and ponder all remarks before releasing a final regulatory instrument.
“As the Commission operates an open-house system, we call to our media stakeholders to always fact-check their reports relevant to telecoms regulatory concerns and seek appropriate clarifications for informed and accurate reporting,” the NCC said.