- New Regulation for SIM Swapping Coming
The Nigerian Communications Commission has said that a new regulation for replacing Subscriber Identification Module cards is coming, alleging that under the current dispensation, some subscribers have had their bank accounts linked to their mobile numbers wiped off.
The Head of Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, said this at the 79th Telecom Consumer Parliament held in Abuja on Thursday.
Akinloye said given the fraud that had trailed the swapping of SIM cards by fraudulent subscribers, it had become necessary to roll out a new and uniform rule that must be followed before a telecom operator could approve SIM card swap.
The NCC official said such fraudulent subscribers were perpetuating their acts in collaboration with some insiders in banks, as investigation at the Central Bank of Nigeria had revealed.
She described a particular case where a subscriber whose telephone could not work for 24 hours thought that the problem was a network challenge, only to realise later that his SIM card had been swapped and his account balance had been reduced by N4m.
Akinloye said the new rule would check the incidence of SIM swap not authorised by the legitimate SIM card owner.
Answering questions on the recent price floor on data services, Akinloye said the commission had to take action to save small operators and prevent the emergence of new monopolies in the telecoms industry.
However, the Head, Value Added Services, Globacom, Mr. Deepak Sharawap, said imposing a price floor on data services would take the cost beyond the reach of ordinary subscribers.
He said the best approach was for the regulatory agency to allow operators to determine the tariff at which they could make profits instead of imposing a minimum price on them.
Speaking at the opening of the event, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Do-Not-Disturb regulation rolled out by the commission was necessary to stop operators from sending unwanted messages to their subscribers.
He said, “Following the barrage of complaints on the menace of unsolicited messages, the commission swayed into action by mandating the activation of the 2442 short code to enable consumers control the type of messages they receive.
“I am glad that it has come into effect and I urge all consumers to take advantage of this new regime by sending ‘Stop’ to 2442 to avoid unsolicited messages.”
Danbatta said any operator that failed to implement the directive fully would be sanctioned.