The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued fresh regulations on ownership of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in the country.
According to the regulations, no person below 18 years should be registered by telecommunication companies for a SIM.
The new regulations are contained in a proposed draft on modified Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations published on the commission’s website.
Though NCC is still asking for the telecom stakeholders’ inputs into the proposed regulations, it has tentatively set 18 years as the age limit for anyone registering and owning a SIM in the country.
In the modified regulations, NCC limited telecoms subscribers to only include anyone above the age of 18.
“‘Subscriber’ means a person not below the age of 18 years who subscribes to communications services by purchasing a subscription medium or entering into a subscription contract with a licensee”, the draft signed by the commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, said.
It also sets the “activation window” to a period of 60 days from the day a new SIM was purchased to when a subscriber is required to register with the relevant licensee (telecom operators) and during which, the new subscriber will be granted limited access to voice calls, message services and other range of services usually provided by mobile operators.
It also said the “Subscriber Registration Period” means the six months period from the effective date or such other date as the Commission may specify and any extensions thereto that may be announced by the Commission, within which existing subscribers are required to register their Subscription Mediums pursuant to these Regulations.”
It said foreigners who wish to roam their mobile lines would not be required to register their lines provided the lines had been registered in their home countries.
The commission said the proposed regulations were made in line with the powers conferred upon the commission by section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.