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SENATE NEWS: N6.2b – Senate blames NCC over shoddy SIM registration

LEGISREPORTS NG - The Chairman Senate Committee on Communications,  Senator Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu), on Thursday blamed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over poor management of SIM card registration in the country.

The lawmaker said the upper chamber was appraised of the situation following the rate of complains by subscribers who lamented poor services.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC Engineer Eugene Juwah, reacting to the concern raised by the Committee Chairman, disagreed saying that the senators hadn't correct information on the issue.

Speaking during the 2013 budget defence of the NCC at the National Assembly complex,  Senator  Nnaji had alleged that complaints made by Nigerians on the SIM card registration include non- harmonisation of the Commission's data with that of the operators; pre-registered SIM cards; money-for-SIM-registration racket; stoppage of face shot capture; inappropriate background for face shot capture and non-resilience of data capturing machine, among others.

Nnaji said: "Industry experts to question the sanctity of the exercise with regards to the data collated. We are perplexed to notice that the regime of poor quality of service still prevails in the industry."

"The Commission needs to look further into this issue even if it requires imposing sanctions that include outright ban on further sales of SIM cards and stoppage of further allocation of new number ranges to the operators until such affected operator is certified to have satisfied the regulator," he added.

According to the Committee Chairman, "These two GSM service providers alone control 62 per cent of the public terrestrial transmission infrastructure which is a bottleneck resource in the provision of voice and data services."

But the NCC boss disclosed that the Commission has harmonised all its data  with that of the service providers and said, subscribers were being called upon by service providers to update their data at the instance of the Commission who had declared such entries invalid. 

He added that the registration is going on seamlessly and that it is coming to a point where subscribers who have not properly registered would be called upon to do so or risk de-activation.

LEGISREPORTS recalls that the National Assembly had in 2010 approved the sum 6.2billion naira to register SIM cards in the country, but three years after the conduct of the SIM registration exercise is still marred by serial hiccups.

This report was prepared by our reporter at the National Assembly, Abuja.

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