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Buying Pre-Registered SIM Cards Criminal Act, May Lead To Imprisonment – NCC Warns Nigerians




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cautioned Nigerians against purchasing pre-registered SIM cards, emphasizing the illegality of the act and the potential for severe consequences.

The telecom regulator, as seen on its X platform, on Friday, issued an advisory note stressing that the use of pre-registered SIM cards undermines the accuracy of consumer information.

The advisory partly read, “Buying pre-registered SIM cards is criminal and may lead to imprisonment, implication in identity theft, financial fraud, kidnapping and armed robbery.

The NCC clarified that the utilization of pre-registered SIM cards undermines the reliability of consumer data collected, thereby complicating authorities’ efforts to identify and apprehend the true culprits of crimes.

The warning serves to educate the public about the risks linked to pre-registered SIM cards and to promote compliance with legal guidelines to bolster national security.

The commission urged the public to follow proper procedures for registering SIM cards to avoid any legal consequences.

Naija News recall that the Nigerian telecommunications companies directed subscribers to link their SIM cards to their National Identification Numbers (NIN) as part of a government initiative started in December 2020 to streamline identification and combat scams.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) mandated this linkage, enforcing network barring on non-compliant phone lines.

Two phases of barring occurred on February 28 and March 29. The deadline for linking SIM cards to NIN has been extended to July 31, 2024, for subscribers with more than four SIMs.