The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday commenced the enforcement of indiscriminate SIM cards registration points arresting three agents in Abuja.
Recall that the commission had earlier issued a directive on November 2016, to all mobile operators to from February 1, 2017 provide a controlled environment for registration of SIM cards or face N5million sanction.
Speaking to journalists during the operation, the commission’s head of enforcement unit, Mr Salisu Abdu, the exercise is to trace SIM registrations and enhance security in the country.
Abdu said: “This controlled environment means a permanent structure; a structure that can be traced , a location that can identified and also that the registration agent manning this centres are expected to have identity as well.
“Today, in view of the fact that deadline has ended on February 2, the NCC team is going to ensure that no any agent are doing the registration outside the controlled environment. We went to Gwanrimpa Gate and some other places around the place. All the three we arrested today were doing the registration in a controlled environment; they were doing that under umbrellas and in kiosks.”
Listing the features of a controlled environment, Abdu said the area must be clearly delineated for that purpose; it must be a permanent structure; a building and must have the logo of the operator and others.
“As at the moment we have arrested three violators and seven registration machines are impounded. So further investigation would be conducted by the Nigeria Police and I believe through we will able to trace the dealers who have assigned the agents. Contradiction of the directive would attract N5million per day and as long as you refuse to pay the N5m you be incurring addition N500,000 each day,” he added.
Also, the NCC yesterday held a stakeholder’s forum on the cost based study for the determination of mobile voice termination rate for the Nigerians Telecommunications industry.
Recall that the commission carried out an in-depth cost study and made determination on the interconnection rates for voice services which took effect from April 1, 2013.
Addressing stakeholders, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said new determination with stakeholders may result in tariff increase for mobile voice termination rate.
He said: “Since the last determination, the Nigerian communications market has witnessed tremendous growth in both, subscriber numbers as well as traffic volumes, Changes in available technologies (2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G) and other network elements, including global financial markets which have an impact over inputs such as the cost of capital.
“The scale of changes will inevitably affect the unit cost of providing services including interconnection and may lead to differences between regulated interconnection rates and underlying costs which in turn may result in differences between on net and off net tariffs.”
Danbatta represented by the commission’s head of policy competition and economic analysis, Mrs Josephine Amuwa said the review was necessary in order to ensure that interconnection services are not only fairly priced and non-discriminate but should reflect the cost of providing such services in the market.
He said the commission has decided to review the rates set in its 2013 determination in light of current market realities.