The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) according to a publication is set to create a new guideline for Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) swaps. The guideline will standardise the processes and procedures for SIM swaps across all networks.
Various complaints by subscribers over unauthorised SIM swaps by service providers and fraudulent activities emanating from such exercise is an ongoing concern for NCC. The new guideline will help make the process of replacing existing SIM with a new SIM without changing the mobile number more secure.
During the 79th Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) in Abuja, Yetunde Akinloye, Head Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC shared the Commission’s worries.
The Commission had received so many complaints from the public on unauthorised SIM swap, adding that in some cases, some nefarious activities were carried out with such SIM Cards. – Yetunde Akinloye, Head Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC.Advertisement
Akinloye while speaking to The Guardian, said that a task force has been set up to look into some of the issues arising from SIM swaps.
CBN is the banking regulator that is why we have entered into this taskforce with them so that between us and the CBN, we can find solution to this matter. There was a situation that was brought to our attention where a subscriber was having issues with his number and thought that it was a network issue, but by the time he discovered what was happening, about ₦4 million had been taken out of his bank account. The person is resident here in Abuja, while the money was taken away from Kano, and he has never been to Kano, so there is no way this would have been done without the connivance of an insider. We discovered that right now, the procedure for SIM swap differs from one operator to the other and we want to standardise how SIM Swap is done. – Yetunde Akinloye, Head Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC
The “Do Not Disturb” code is not as effective as it should be, several individuals still receive unsolicited messages. Currently, there are pending Bills at the National Assembly. One of such Bills addresses the problem of unsolicited messages sent to subscribers.
Shame Kolo, a representative of Consumer Protection Council who was at the TCP, said that unauthorised SIM swap, unsolicited caller tunes, lotto, and promos are still being forced on subscribers. Creating guidelines for SIM swap will help reduce the risk faced by subscribers today. The NCC needs to enforce these regulations and make the Telecom service providers more accountable.
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