NCC Sends Warning to Nigerians on Risks of Buying Pre-Registered SIM Cards

NCC Sends Warning to Nigerians on Risks of Buying Pre-Registered SIM Cards

  • The NCC has warned against purchasing pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards
  • The NCC noted that the sale and use of pre-registered SIM cards violate telecommunications laws and regulations
  • The commission highlighted security risks associated with pre-registered SIM cards and the fine associated if caught journalist Dave Ibemere has over a decade of business journalism experience with in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian economy, stocks, and general market trends.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned Nigerians against purchasing pre-registered SIM cards.

The caution comes as part of the regulator's ongoing efforts to combat the illicit sale and use of improperly registered SIM cards in the country.

NCC shares guidelines for sim cards registration in Nigeria
All mobile sim cards are to be registered before use in Nigeria Photo credit: George Osodi
Source: Getty Images

The commission noted that selling pre-registered SIM cards poses risks to the person buying and national security.

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The NCC stated this in an advisory note published on its website.

NCC warns against buying pre-registered sim

The NCC also highlighted the security risks associated with using pre-registered SIM cards, noting that they could be used for criminal activities such as fraud, kidnapping, and terrorism.

NCC said:

"Picture entering a store to purchase a new phone number, only to discover it's already active under someone else's name, unbeknownst to them! This scenario exemplifies a pre-registered SIM card.
"These cards are fraudulently activated by individuals using stolen or fake identity information, circumventing the registration process and leading to numerous issues

The commission urged Nigerians to purchase SIM cards from authorised dealers and ensure that the SIM card is properly registered in their name before use, Punch reports.

The statement added:

"The NCC is dedicated to establishing a dependable and secure telecommunication network for all Nigerians. However, this objective requires your involvement.

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"By refusing pre-registered SIM cards and correctly registering your own, you play a crucial role in protecting yourself, your loved ones, and the entire nation. Remember, responsible registration practices are key to a secure and prosperous digital future for all."

NCC warns of fine

The NCC also warned that individuals buying or using such SIM cards would face severe fines or penalties.

Punch reports that the regulator emphasised the potential impact on business operations. Organisations using pre-registered SIM cards for official purposes risk operational disruptions if these cards are deactivated or flagged for non-compliance, affecting business communications and operations.

The advisory concluded:

"The discovery by stakeholders that an organisation is using pre-registered SIM cards can damage its reputation. Stakeholders may view the business as untrustworthy or unethical, resulting in a loss of confidence and potential business opportunities."

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The commission warned that the apps were designed to steal users' information. Interestingly, the apps listed have been downloaded over one million times by users worldwide.

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at


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Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: