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SIM cards’ll become invalid by september 28 if unregistered

The Nigerian Communications Commission has set a September 28, 2011 deadline to cut off unregistered subscribers on telecommunications networks in the country.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said this at the inauguration of the registration of Subscriber Identification Module cards in Abuja on Monday.

Juwah, who urged Nigerians not to wait till the last minute, said any SIM card that was not registered within the window opened for the exercise would be disconnected.

According to him, the exercise will help to reduce crimes assisted by telecommunications gadgets, as well as gather data that are essential for planning and implementation of government programmes.

He said, “This event is very significant in many ways. First, this nation has been waiting for the day when all the SIM cards in use in the country are registered, and the identity of the owner of every line is known.

“Another significance of this is the achievement of a central data base for all mobile phone users in Nigeria. Today, therefore, marks a major step taken by the NCC to bequeath to the nation an important tool, a pool of data that will assist other government agencies, especially the security agencies and the National Identity Management Commission in carrying out their jobs in the national interest.”

Juwah added, “The registration exercise will last for a period of six months. Registration centres will be deployed all over the country and all subscribers will find a centre close to their abode to register their SIM cards.

“No Nigerian or visitor to Nigeria using mobile phones is exempt from this exercise. At the end of six months of this registration, all unregistered SIM cards will be disconnected from the various networks.”

The NCC and seven firms had on February 7 signed contracts for the registration of SIM cards across the country.

The contracts had been controversial because of the N6.1bn budgeted for the exercise by the regulatory agency. Many National Assembly members felt the money was an unnecessary burden on the Federal Government as the exercise would have been better handled by the operators.

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