MTN joins fight against pre-registered SIMs


By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

MTN Nigeria has joined forces with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to combat the illegal sale of pre-registered SIM cards in Nigeria.

Akinwale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, said: “MTN is working closely with the regulator and the relevant law enforcement agencies to stamp out this dangerous trend.”

“We have zero tolerance for the sales of pre-reregistered SIMs or any activity that contravenes laid-down procedure as advised by the NCC,” he added.

Goodluck noted that subscriber SIM registration, which is the process of capturing and recording personal details of a subscriber, is aimed at helping the company know its customers better and to support the government in safeguarding the public against acts of insecurity perpetrated by elements who seek to take advantage of the anonymity offered by prepaid mobile phones to commit crimes.

He revealed that this record of subscriber details including name, date of birth, gender, address, phone number, the subscriber’s picture (face) and fingerprints, assists MTN to segment its customers better and to design bespoke products and services to further enrich their lives. It will also aid the relevant security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police, to track and prosecute criminal elements.

The Corporate Services Executive disclosed that MTN is constantly monitoring activities on the registration boxes, at the back end, with a view to isolating pre-registered SIMs. The company then promptly reverses suspected pre-registered SIMs to a ‘receive only’ status, while sending SMS to holders of such SIMs to register their SIMs properly before the lines would be reactivated.

He called on prospective telephone users to enter MTN appointed offices to carry out all SIM related activities including purchase, and SWAP and to shun activities of touts who sell pre-registered SIM cards.

MTN Nigeria remains fully compliant with all directives from the NCC concerning the SIM Registration process and would continue to work hand-in-hand with the Nigerian Police to bring perpetrators to book, he reiterated.

Recently, the commission embarked on a comprehensive enforcement campaign against the sale of pre-registered SIM cards following alerts in the media. Several people have since been arrested and will soon be prosecuted.


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