Age limit has been placed on the ownership of Subscriber Identity Module Card in Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission, a development indicating that persons below the age of 18 in Nigeria cannot own SIM Cards.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that the new regulation was announced during the public inquiry on three regulatory instruments on the rulemaking process in Abuja.
The regulatory instruments are: registration of telephone subscribers regulation, the SIM replacement guidelines and the spectrum trading guidelines.
Following the report, the draft copy of the modified Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations described subscribers as persons above the age 18; in the modified regulations, the NCC insisted on 18 years and above for anyone who wants to own and register a SIM card in Nigeria.
The licensee refers to ‘a provider of communications services that utilises a subscription medium in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
Reports say the regulations were made in line with the powers conferred upon the commission by section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.
In accordance with Section 57 of the Act, the NCC conducted a public inquiry on the registration of telephone subscribers regulations, alongside the draft SIM replacement guidelines and the draft spectrum trading guidelines at its head office in Abuja on Tuesday.
“The regulation withdraws licence from ‘subscribers registration solution provider’ who is usually contracted by the NCC for conceptualization, design, development and delivery of registration solutions which covers all licences and providing detailed subscribers information in a manner facilitating seamless integration into central database.
“Also, independent registration agents will no longer have access to subscriber information.
“All agents or people who register SIM cards in shops or private agents or sub agents will no longer have access to details of subscribers. They now have limits to personal information,” the report says.
Network providers, however, urged the commission to limit the age to 14 years, but reports reveal that the NCC insisted that ownership and registration age is pegged at 18 years for anyone who lives or Nigeria or abroad but roams a Nigerian number.