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Pantami: Improperly registered SIM cards now 2.4m — from 9.2 million

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Isa Pantami, minister of communications technology, says the number of improperly registered SIM cards in the country now stands at 2.4 million.

On Friday, Pantami had said the number of improperly registered SIM cards were 9.2 million.

The minister then directed the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that mobile network operators block all SIM cards that do not meet proper registration standards.

Speaking at the swearing-in of some non-executive commissioners of the NCC at his office in Abuja on Monday, Pantami said the commission had rectified 6,775,000 incomplete SIM registration issues.

“The statistics were alarming and worrisome, what was sent to me last week was 9.2 million with improper registration,” the minister said.

“I was really worried because investigation reveals that sim cards are involved in 99% of crimes, the responsibility is the protection of life and property so the life of one innocent Nigerian is more than any revenue federal may get as a result of ignoring that improper documentation.

“I am glad to say that we also wrote another letter to the management and they replied today within this period of time they were able to reduce the number significantly, they were able to rectify 6,775,000 incomplete registration.

“So the total number of incomplete registration as it is today is 2.42 million, so the reduction is 73.61%.”

Pantami said the NCC should ensure that there is no improper registered SIM by September 25.

The minister also urged the non-executive commissioners to work towards closing the access gaps in the country.

“We have around 200 access gaps in Nigeria with a population close to 40 million people without access. So let us see how we can bridge this gap – these 200 hundred communities without access to telecoms,” he said.

“Let us see how we can bridge this gap. If we can achieve 50 to 80% of that, then definitely by implication of the contribution of ICT to GDP will be able to double that of oil and gas within the next few years.”

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