By Prince Osuagwu &Juliet Umeh
The Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria, MNO, including MTN, Airtel, Globacom among others are to go through another compliance audit of all Subscriber Identity Module, SIM databases.
The SIM registration will be carried out by the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC. The commission said it initiated the process specifically to monitor operators’ strict adherence to the technical and other specifications for subscribers’ registration.
The specifications are prescribed in the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations and the Technical Standards and Specifications issued by the Commission in 2011.
The Commission, however, said the audit was without prejudice to the ongoing “backend verification and scrubbing” of SIM registration data already submitted to the Commission by telecom operators.
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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja, promised that the subscribers would not suffer connection glitch during audit period. He also said the NCC considers the latest audit as very sensitive, in view of the importance of the information to security and law enforcement in the country.
He said: “The Subscriber Registration Database is a veritable tool being used by Security and Law Enforcement Agencies in the detection and apprehension of criminal elements involved in heinous crimes like kidnapping, financial crimes, armed robberies, banditry, cattle rustling and other crimes”. The first phase of this audit happened in 2011.
Danbatta added that, “the security operatives can leverage on easy access to the national telecoms network. As such, we (NCC) are determined to continue to ensure all SIM cards are traceable to their real owners with the least effort”.