The registration of 95.7 million Subscriber Identity Module cards has been declared invalid by Nigerian Communications Commission due of improper capture of fingerprints and faces.
Since the SIM registration exercise started in 2011, a total of 151,449,837 registration data of subscribers had been processed, with only 55,749,652 records valid, making 63.2 per cent of the total records invalid based on invalid face capturing and fingerprints.
This development means that the telecommunications regulatory agency may soon send the owners of the SIM cards back to registration centres where their details would be properly captured.
According to Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner for stakeholder management, who was represented by Efosa Idehen, director for compliance monitoring and enforcement, perpetrators of fraudulently registered SIM cards will be charged with felony and risk a 25-year jail term.
He said sanctions will extend to the head of marketing of mobile network operators and even the chief executives of licensees who illegally benefit from such illegal SIM registration activities to meet their marketing targets.
He said, the commission would begin to plead national security and national interests against anybody found culpable of fraudulently-registered SIM cards in the telecom industry.