SIM Card Registration Helps Security Operatives Track Kidnappers, Says NCC

Sonny Aragba-akpore, Head Media Management NCC; Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Online Media and Special Publications NCC; Amina Shehu, Deputy Director Corporate Planning and Strategy NCC; Tony Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs NCC; Austin Odo, Deputy Director Corporate Planning and Strategy NCC; Reuben Muoka, Head Public Relations NCC at the event.

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the mobile telephone SIM card registrations which it introduced into the country is helping security operatives in the country to track criminals on the run particularly kidnappers.
The Commission, which regulates telecommunications operations in the country, said that as a result its zero tolerance of unregistered SIM Cards by telecom service providers on their networks still stands.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta while delivery a paper titled, Trackable Identity and The Ease Of Doing Business in Nigeria delivered at Special Independence Edition of the annual Conference of Directors and Heads of Public Relations organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) warned the general public not to buy pre-registered SIM Cards from persons and businesses that had done multiple SIM Cards registration in order to resell later.
The Head of Commission who was represented by the Director Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, noted that the burden of this practice lies with the Mobile Network Operators who are expected to deactivate SIM cards that do not carry verifiable identities, because operators are under obligations to have the identities of all callers on their respective networks
According to Ojobo, trackable identity is the ability to identify an individual operating or transacting business in the cyberspace noting that “within our environment, some identity objects are bereft of digital object identifiers, thus posing serious challenge to identifying someone transacting business in the cyberspace.”
He explained that the SIM Cards Registration policy was instituted by the Federal Government as a strategic response to the challenges of identity tracking especially in the context of kidnappings, terrorism and other forms of criminality in our society and globally.
Ojobo recalled that the establishment of the National Identity Management Commission through the NIMC Act 2007 and other extant policies and programmes such as the issuance of International travel passports, BVN, Driver’s license, Voter’s card, the activities of the National Population Commission and the SIM Cards Registration programme supervised by the NCC.
He said also that every SIM card is a subscription on a network and NCC has over 130 million records being verified, and all of that will be transferred later to NIMC as the nation’s main custodian of identity management in Nigeria.
While emphasizing the centrality of trackable identity to the ease of doing business, he observed that it is clearly discernible in the reduction of mistrust and incidence of fraud saying that instituting of data capturing capabilities that guarantee trackable identity, storage of transaction history and enhancement of security in all online transactions speak to the importance of cautious undertaking in the cyberspace by all stakeholders.
“We all need to be able to identify those we are dealing with especially in the cyberspace to reduce mistrust and fraud as well as to improve the integrity of transactions. The totalizing experience of these practices will also help in the fight against economic and financial crimes” said Ojobo.
He added: “an increase in the level of ICT interface and a reduction in the instances of human, physical interface can reduce financial corruption”.
Isaiah Erhiawarien, West Africa


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