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NCC charges Telcos to verify subscribers’ information or face N200,000 penalty

*Nigeria’s telecoms sector regulator warns any licensee who fails to capture, or who preregisters, registers, deregisters or transmits the details of any individual or corporate subscriber to the Central Database is liable to a fine of N200,000 for each subscription medium

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of its regulatory activities, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all licensed telecoms companies to ensure they capture, register and transmit the personal information of consumers to the Central Database before activating any subscription medium or pay N200,000 fine per infraction.

The country’s telecoms regulator, in a recently updated draft regulation on telephone subscriber registration published on its corporate Web site recently, stated that the NCC has recommended a punishment of N200,000 for mobile communications service providers that fail to verify and confirm each subscriber’s biometric, National Identity Number (NIN), and other personal information.

According to the draft document, “any licensee who fails to capture, or who preregisters, register, deregister or transmit the details of any individual or corporate subscribers to the Central Database as specified in these Regulations or as may be stipulated from time to time by the Commission is liable to a penalty of N200,000.00 for each subscription medium.

“A licensee, who activates any subscription medium without capturing, registering and transmitting the personal information to the Central Database commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N200,000.00 for each unregistered activated Subscription Medium.”

It also further states “a licensee who fails to verify and validate biometric, NIN and other personal information before activation is liable to a penalty of N200,000 for each subscription medium in breach of these requirements.”

Mobile service providers, in the draft regulation, will be fined per subscription medium if they allow subscribers to make and receive calls, send and receive short message services, and other services typically provided by such operators without first verifying the subscribers’ personal information, including NIN.

Recal the NCC, in 2017, penalised MTN Nigeria N102.2million, Globacom N7.4million, Etisalat N7million, and Airtel, N3.8million for violating its regulatory directive on the deactivation of all pre-registered SIM cards, all improperly registered SIM cards, and all SIM cards that failed to undergo complete registration on their networks in the West African country.

Similarly, the Commission fined the four major Telcos operating in the country over infractions that contravened the stated rules and regulations in the sector.

The regulator at the time fined Airtel N2.3billion, MTN N164.3million, 9mobile N5million, and Globacom N232million respectively.

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