Lagos - Nigeria's mobile network operators have deactivated all unregistered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in compliance with orders by regulatory authorities.
This follows the expiry of the SIM card registration exercise on June 30 and subsequent threats by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to operators that did not cut off services to unregistered clients.
All four telecoms firms in the country - MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat - said they were complying with all NCC directives.
In response to questions from CAJ News, Airtel Nigeria’s Head of Value Added Services, Deepark Srivastava, said all unregistered lines on its network has been deactivated.
“As a law-abiding firm, we shall comply with all regulations, including disconnection of unregistered SIMs,” he said.
MTN Nigeria’s Corporate Service Executive, Akinwale Goodluck, said the telecommunications firm has deactivated all unregistered SIMs but those deactivated can reconnect at any of their outlets.
“We have informed affected subscribers that they can reconnect their lines by visiting the nearest MTN Service Centre, ConnectStore or SIM registration point.
"We have set up registration points in several places for this purpose,”
Steve Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat commended the NCC for taking the decision and also for their move to grant operators an extra two months to persuade customers to register and reconcile and eliminate any problems with the data collected from customers during registration.
“I do not think the NCC could have done any more than they have to eliminate the impact on genuine customers. The fine issue is just to keep everyone on line," Evans said.
Etisalat, he said, worked closely with the NCC to ensure that the customers' needs were prioritised even in the case of SIM card registration and mobile number portability.
Globacom, in a press statement, said it was willing to comply with all NCC directives on SIM card registration.
The NCC embarked on the exercise last year to combat crime.
Through the exercise, mobile network operators must register the identity details and addresses of clients.
The mobile operators had previously appealed for an extension of the deadline to no avail. - CAJ News