Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) just slammed a NGN 14.4 million ($70,263) fine on Etisalat and Globacom for contravening its directive to telcos to deactivate pre-registered SIM cards and SIM cards with inconsistent bio-metrics.

Last month, the telecoms regulator directed mobile network operators operating in the country to deactivate said lines. A directive that was followed through a week later with deactivation of up to 10.7 million lines by the four major Nigerian telcos; MTN, Globalcom, Airtel and Etisalat.

It appears, however, that Globacom and Etisalat did not follow the directive to the letter. According to Thisday, quoting NCC, the regulator’s monitoring team discovered 37 pre-registered SIM cards on the Globalcom network, and another 35 pre-registered SIM cards on the Etisalat network.

The combined fine of N14.4 million will be shared 7.4 million and 7 million between Globalcom and Etisalat respectively.

The NCC Regulation 20 (1) of the Registration of Telecoms Subscribers, according to ThisDay stipulates a fine of N200,000 for every pre-registered team found on a network. And it’s how the overall fine was computed.

NCC says the fine are to be paid before September 7, 2015 or the fine will begin to attract a surcharge of N100, 000 for every day the operators default on payment.

The regulator did not comment on the compliance of the other two major telcos.

Update [04/09/2015 – 20:13]: It appears MTN and Airtel also got the short end of the stick. Maybe even the longer end of the short end of the stick.

MTN was fined N102.2 million while Airtel got off comparatively easy with 38 million in fines. The regulator said it found 402 pre-registered lines still active on MTN during its post-exercise compliance check, according to NigeriacCommunicationsWeek. The fines to all the telcos total N120.4 million.

Photo Credit: rejon via Compfight cc

Gbenga Onalaja Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox