The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that Nigeria recorded a total of 95.7 million invalid Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards registration since the exercise began in 2011.
The NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Dare, reportedly disclosed this at the South-South Regional Sensitisation Workshop on the dangers of fraudulently-activated SIM cards held yesterday in Port Harcourt.
According to Dare who was represented at the forum by the Director in charge of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Efosa Idehen, out of the total of 151.4 million registration data of subscribers processed, only 55,749,652 records are valid. This, therefore, brings the total number of invalid SIM card registration to 95.7m.
Also, the commission stated that invalid face and fingerprint capturing are the main factors responsible for the 63.2 percent invalid SIM card registration.
NCC described fraudulent SIM registrations as worrisome
The commission described fraudulent SIM card registration as one of the challenges that has faced the country over the past years. It was further disclosed that years of continuous fight against fraudulent operators started as far back as 2012.
According to the NCC, fraudulently-registered SIM cards have been aiding and abetting robbery cases, kidnappings, financial frauds, and all manners of criminalities. The anonymity of the unregistered subscribers makes criminal investigation difficult for the law enforcement agencies.
A threat to National Security
The NCC disclosed that past efforts to educate and sanction fraudulent SIM card registration operators had failed to yield results, hence the legal perspective due to its threat to national security.
According to Dare:
“Unfortunately, despite the level of stakeholder engagements, sanction so far imposed, arrests made and prosecutions secured through working with law enforcement agencies, among others, the level of compliance with the SIM registrations rules by the various players across the SIM registration value chain remains unsatisfactory.
“thE ACTIONS OF THESE OPERATORS constitutE threats to national security and jeopardisE national interest.
“once an agent engaging in pre-registered SIM cards is arrested, the culpability in such a case will cascade to other players in the SIM registration value chain, including the super agents, the heads of marketing of mobile network operators (MNOs) and possibly the Chief Executives of licensees, who illegally benefit from such illegal SIM registration activities to meet their marketing targets.”
No longer business as usual; Perpetrators to face 25 years imprisonment
It was further revealed that aside from several sanctions provided in the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2011 for improperly-registered SIM cards, a fine of N1 million could also be imposed on any person found guilty of the crime.
The commission disclosed that it would no longer be business as usual, as perpetrators would be caught and prosecuted in line with the law.
“it would no longer be business-as-usual for perpetrators of fraudulently-registered SIM cards, threatening those indulging in the illegal activity with 25 years of imprisonment, as prescribed by the law.”
However, Operators’ association kicked
The Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo, reportedly kicked against this by shifting the bulk of the blame to the telco, describing the SIM registration process by NCC as improperly done.
“NCC has by this statement indicted itself. The regulator gave us the template with which we used and based the registration of subscribers upon. Now it is saying the template is bad. It has indicted itself’.’
Buhari nominates Okonjo-Iweala as DG World Trade Organization
President Muhammadu Buhari nominated the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
This was seen in a tweet posted by the Presidential aide on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, in the early hours of Friday, June 5, 2020.
In the statement, Ogunlesi said that the current Director-General of the intergovernmental organization, Roberto Azevedo, is stepping down from his position on August 2020, a year ahead of the end of his tenure.
Azevedo, who has been the head of the WTO since 2013, is stepping down at this critical period of global economic crisis and the trade war between the United States of America and China.
This means that the election that was earlier scheduled for 2021 when his tenure was supposed to expire might be coming up much earlier for a new four-year term.
Tolu Ogunlesi in his statement said, ”President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Okonji-Iweala as Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the Director-General of World Trade Organization. DG Azevedo is stepping down in August 2020, a year earlier, so the election of the new DG, originally scheduled for 2021, may take place much earlier”.
DG Azevedo is stepping down in August 2020, a year early, so the election of a new DG, originally scheduled for 2021, may take place much earlier.
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) June 4, 2020
Just-in: AfDB board agrees to an independent probe of Akinwumi Adesina
The independent review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the Bank group’s electoral calendar into account.
The Bureau of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has agreed to authorize an independent review of the report of the ethics committee of the bank’s board of directors on the allegations levied against the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
This was contained in a communique which was released and signed by the Chairperson of the Bureau of Board of Governors, Ms Niale Kaba, after the meeting of the bureau board of governors on June 4, 2020, with respect to the complaints against the President of the bank.
In taking the decision, the Bureau agreed that the ethics committee performed its role on this matter in accordance with the applicable rule under resolution B/BG/2008/11 of the board of governors and that the Chairperson of the Bureau of Board of Governors performed her role in accepting the findings of the ethics committee in accordance with the said resolution.
The bank’s board of governors in its statement said, ‘’Based on the views of some Governors on the matter and the need to carry every Governor along in resolving it, the Bureau agrees to authorize an independent review of the report of the ethics committee of the board of governors relative to the allegations considered by the ethics committee and the submissions made by the President of the Bank Group thereto in the interest of due process.
‘’The independent review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the Bank group’s electoral calendar into account.
‘’The Bureau agrees that, within a three to six months period and following the independent review of the ethics committee report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the bank’s group whistleblowing and complaints handling policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary, to avoid situations of this nature in the future.’’
Following the allegations of unethical conducts, questionable appointments and contract awards by a group of whistleblowers and the subsequent clearance of all charges by the bank’s ethics committee, the United States Government, who is the largest shareholder outside Africa, asked for an independent probe of those allegations.
The US treasury secretary questioned the integrity of the committee’s process as well as the internal processes of the bank.
Adesina, a few days ago, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, where he assured of the country’s support towards his travails and his second term bid for the Presidency of the multilateral institution.
FG removes cap on petrol price, allows marketers to fix price
The price cap per liter in respect of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is removed from the commencement of these Regulations.
The Federal Government has removed the cap on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price, popularly known as petrol.
This was disclosed by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) via a memo, which was dated March 30, 2020, but realised on May 4, 2020, titled ‘Market Based Pricing Regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Regulations, 2020.
What it means: With the new development, marketers now have the freedom to fix the price of the commodity and sell above the price given by the agency.
Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, explained that the agency would continue to monitor trends in the crude oil market and advise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil marketers on the monthly guiding price for the commodity.
“The price cap per litre in respect of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is removed from the commencement of these Regulations. From the commencement of these Regulations, a market-based pricing regime for PMS shall take effect,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported that the agency announced a new retail price band for oil marketers.
In a circular dated May 31st, as seen by Nairametrics, the downstream regulator said oil marketers are now expected to sell petrol within the price range of N121.50 and N123.50. Part of the circular said:
“Please recall the recently approved pricing regime which became effective March 19, 2020, and the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations.”