An estimated 9.2 million mobile telephone lines (SIM cards) in Nigeria are not properly registered in accordance with the standard procedure.
Nigerian telecommunications regulator, National Communications Commission (NCC) reportedly disclosed this in a report sent to the Communications minister, Isa Pantami.
The spokesperson of the minister, Uwa Suleiman, in a statement Thursday evening in Abuja, said the revelation was contained in a report submitted to the minister by the NCC.
Ms Suleiman said the report was compiled following instruction given by the newly appointed minister to all parastatals under his ministry to produce a short-term performance target.
The spokesperson said Mr Pantami “was alarmed by the figures and has issued instructions to the NCC to direct operators to block all lines with such deficiencies”.
“The security implication of this irregularity is too grave to ignore and the Federal Ministry of Communications will not tolerate any actions or inactions that will compromise the nation’s security,” the statement partly reads.
Ms Suleiman said the investigation, which was carried out at the behest of the minister, “has exposed for the first time in the telecoms history of Nigeria, in precise detail, the magnitude of defaulters”.
“Minister expressed concern over the security implication of this discovery and further directed that the Telecoms regulator, should with immediate effect, ensure that all improperly registered numbers are duly reregistered.
“To ensure maximum compliance, Dr Pantami, has directed NCC to ensure all mobile network operators block all SIM cards that do not meet proper registration standards until users comply with proper reregistration procedures.”