The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed mobile network operators to suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday, saying the move was necessary for operators to comply until the audit had been concluded.
He announced that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has directed the commission to embark on an audit of the database.
He, however, said an exemption might be granted following approval from the federal government through the commission.
He warned that non-compliance with the directive would attract sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licence.
Adinde said the audit would help to consolidate the achievement of the SIM card registration.
The director explained that the objective of the audit was to ensure compliance with set quality standards and requirements by mobile network operators.
According to him, the directive became necessary in view of the preponderance of pre-registered SIMs with the attendant security implications associated with their use to facilitate criminal activities.