Nigerian Telcos have deactivated about 10.7 million SIM cards and this has led to affected customers picketing telcos’ customer centers across the country, Guardian reports.
The SIM cards were barred after the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian telecoms industry regulator, gave carriers a seven-day ultimatum to deactivate pre-registered SIM cards and those with poor biometric capturing from their networks.
The report by Guardian reveals that a number of aggrieved customers interviewed indicated that they were duly registered and were surprised when they discovered their SIM cards had been barred.
Thisday Live reported that the NCC had given this directive as a fall out of its meeting with the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of State Security (DSS), the network operators. The parties present at the meeting had pointed attention to crimes committed in the country via unregistered telephone lines across various networks.
Since telcos began the biometric capturing of customers in 2011, the NCC revealed in September 2014 that about 45% of registered SIMs were improperly registered.
Collectively, the NCC and the four telecommunications operators in Nigeria, Etisalat, MTN, GLO and Airtel have spent about N46.1 billion on SIM card registration from 2010 to 2015.