Mobile Network Operators have been ordered by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to immediately suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, revealed this in a statement on Wednesday, saying it was absolutely necessary for operators to comply until the audit exercise had been concluded.
He stated that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, ordered the commission to begin an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
He added that only approval from the Federal Government through the commission can grant an exemption.
He advised that non-compliance with the directive would be met with strict sanctions, including a possible withdrawal of operating license.
Adinde said the audit would assist in consolidating the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise.
He noted that the objective of the audit exercise was to ensure compliance to set quality standards and requirements by mobile network operators.
He added that the directive became necessary in view of the preponderance of pre-registered SIMs with the attendant security implications associated with the use of such SIM to facilitate criminal activities.