NCC Denies Plan to Disqualify Nigerians Under 18-Years From Owning SIM Cards

NCC Denies Plan to Disqualify Nigerians Under 18-Years From Owning SIM Cards

  • While minors may be banned from acquiring SIM cards, their parents and guardians can take up the responsibility of registering one for them
  • This was made clear by the Nigerian Communications Commission in a statement released on Thursday, October 7
  • The NCC in its statement said its new proposal is aimed at protecting every Nigerian minor from the liabilities of owning a SIM card

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described reports that it plans to disqualify Nigerians below the age of 18-years-old from owning or registering Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards as misleading.

Guardian reports that the NCC in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, its director of public administration said the new report is a misrepresentation of the proceedings of the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations organised by the commission.

Isa Pantami of NCC
The NCC has said that parents are allowed to acquire SIMs for their children and wards. Photo: NCC
Source: Facebook

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According to Adinde, parents are allowed to acquire SIM cards for their children and wards.

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However, Adinde said it should be made clear that following the acquisition of these SIM cards for minors by proxy, the parents must be ready to take responsibility for whatever might happen thereafter.

Adinde said:

“The age of 18 years for SIM acquisition proposed in the draft regulation is contingent on the constitutional provision, which makes 18 years the age of consent in Nigeria."

Stating that the proposal by the commission is with a view to protecting minors from the hazards associated with owning a SIM and having access to the internet, he said SIM acquisition is a contract between service providers and their subscribers.

This, he said requires the subscriber to have proper legal status, be of the matured mind and be rational enough to bear certain responsibilities, obligations and liabilities imposed by a contract.

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Protection of all Nigerian Minors

In addition, Adinde said while the NCC is pursuing digital inclusion for all, it is also keen on shielding minors from undue liabilities in line with NCC’s Child Online Protection drive.

He said that stakeholders are also being consulted as the review of the proposal is currently ongoing and all input would be appreciated by the commission before issuing a final regulatory instrument.

Meanwhile, previously reported that the NCC had said that there would be no going back in the disconnection of line yet to be linked with National Identity Numbers (NIN).

The NCC had in the past urged every Nigerian to link their mobile numbers to the NINs before October 31, 2021.

The commission also warned that all SIM cards not link to any NIN would be automatically disconnected at the expiration of the deadline.


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