Written by Sarah NEGEDU

NCC to begin phase II of SIM auditing

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said it would soon launch the second phase of its ongoing audit of Subscriber Identity Module, SIM, registration database and registration processes across all Mobile Network Operator, MNO, platforms.

NCC in a recent statement, said the exercise was to provide further assurance on the integrity of its SIM registration database, adding that it would also help track activities of kidnappers and armed bandits.

According to the Commission, the auditing process adopted by MNOs will also monitor operators’ strict adherence to the technical and other specifications for the subscriber registration as prescribed by the NCC’s Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations of 2011 and the Technical Standards and Specifications issued by the commission in 2011.

“The audit is specifically to monitor operators' strict adherence to the technical and other specifications for the subscriber registration as prescribed by the NCC’s Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations of 2011 and the Technical Standards and Specifications issued by the commission in 2011 and subsequently thereafter.”

The statement quoted the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, to have noted that the verification exercise was a continuation of the NCC’s consistent regulatory interventions to ensure a clean and credible SIM registration database.

“Currently, verification and scrubbing of SIM Registration data is on -going. This is to ensure the integrity of the data submitted to the commission by the MNOs, before we feed the cleaned-up data to the central database warehoused by NIMC.

“The audit is a natural next step to ensure that not only are the data already submitted fully compliant, but that operators maintain the highest standards of registration practices across all their touch -points so that the subscriber data they are collecting continue to serve the national security and other interests for which subscriber registration was mandated.”

Danbatta added, “Everything we are doing is in accordance with global best practice – verification and audits are continuous exercises, which the commission has been engaging in since 2011 when subscriber registration formally commenced in Nigeria.”

Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, had earlier told the media that the ongoing SIM data verification is a continuous exercise to clean up the data of already registered telecoms subscribers and harmonise them with data captured by the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to create a national database, the NCC.

He said the subscriber data so far captured by MNOs, as well as data captured by other statutory agencies, are being cleaned up, verified and harmonised in accordance with the act setting up NIMC, and a directive of the Federal Executive Council.

He explained that as NCC collected the data to the central system, it then checked and verified what had been submitted by the operators, saying this had been the process from the beginning and that it had not changed.

“We issued a Subscriber Registration Regulations in 2011 together with Registration Specifications and these have remained substantially the same since then.

“What we now have is an additional layer of verification via a presidential directive and an enabling law – that all data – collecting agencies of government should harmonise their data with NIMC – because statutorily it is only NIMC that has the power to create a national citizens’ database. So, NCC falls within the category of data collecting agencies,” he explained.

 

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