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NCC begins another SIM registration compliance audit

The Nigerian Communications Commission [@NgComCommission] has begun another round of compliance audit of SIM registration databases of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel and other operators offering SIM-based services.

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FG receives N51 billion remittance from NCC in 3 months, Tough test for MTN others, DND costs telecom operators N221 billion loss 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has begun another round of compliance audit of SIM registration databases of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9Mobile, Ntel and other operators offering SIM-based services.

Following the commencement of the compliance audit, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are reportedly jittery over the status of their registered Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) cards.

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The details: The audit is the second to be carried out by the Commission across all the mobile network providers since SIM registration was introduced in 2011.

  • Basically, the audit was initiated to ensure strict compliance to specifications for subscribers’ SIM registration. The specifications are prescribed in the Telephone Subscribers Registration Regulations and the Technical Standards and Specifications issued by the Commission in 2011.
  • Meanwhile, the NCC has disclosed that the verification would involve the back-end verification and scrubbing of SIM registration data already submitted by telecom operators.
  • According to a statement credited to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the latest audit is a “very sensitive one” considering the importance of the information to security and law enforcement in the country.

“The Subscriber Registration Database is a veritable tool being used by security and law enforcement agencies in the detection and apprehension of criminal elements involved in heinous crimes like kidnapping, financial crimes, armed robberies, banditry, cattle rustling and other crimes.

“The security operatives can leverage on easy access to the national telecoms network. As such, we (NCC) are determined to continue to ensure all SIM cards are traceable to their real owners with the least effort.

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“The audit is a natural next step to ensure that not only does the data already submitted fully comply but that operators maintain the highest standards of registration practices across all their touch-points so that the subscriber data they are collecting continues to serve the national security and other interests for which subscriber registration was mandated.”

[READ MORE: MTN loses 178,000 internet subscribers over ‘data concerns’]

The back story: Recall that the first SIM registration audit compliance carried out by the NCC in 2015 led to the imposition of N1.04 trillion fine on MTN. Specifically, MTN was fined for its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered and improperly registered lines from its network.

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  • The move by NCC followed accusations by mobile phone users that the regulator had failed to bring operators to account for poor services rendered to subscribers.
  • After several negotiations, the N1.04 trillion infraction fine was reduced to N350 billion, which represents a fine of N200,000 for each unregistered line.
  • MTN paid the fine in tranches and completed the payment in June 2019.

Another fine imminent: According to reports, all mobile network operators are reportedly jittery and currently employing several strategies in order to have clean books before the NCC hammer falls on them.

  • According to the report by Newtelegraph, since the beginning of August, network operators have been embarking on another round of ‘Know Your Customer (KYC)’ exercise, which is aimed at correcting any irregularity on their SIM registration database.
  • It was gathered that the telcos are aggressively pushing subscribers for the update as they have been sending messages urging subscribers to come for registration update before the end of August.

In the meantime, while the imposition of fines may be new to other network operators, MTN is expected not to allow another showdown with the NCC, considering the fact that it still has a case with the Federal Inland Revenue Service over tax deduction.

It should be noted that the move made by NCC is backed by its drive to ensure sanity in the telecommunication sector due to the security threat it portends to the country.

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[READ FURTHER: MTN Nigeria hires KPMG to handle tax dispute as face-off with FIRS continues]

Patricia

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Appointments

PwC admits 8 Nigerians, 16 others as partners across Africa 

PwC has about 400 partners and over 9,000 people spread across 34 countries in Africa.  

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has admitted 24 professionals in Africa, including 8 Nigerians, into the firm’s partnership.

Akinyemi Akingbade, Chioma Obaro, Yinka Yusuf, Wura Olowofoyeku, Tosin Labeodan, and Rukaiya El-Rufai were all admitted into the firm’s Assurance practice, while Kunle Amida and Olusola Adewale were appointed into Advisory.

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From South Africa, nine partners were also admitted; Lumko Sihiya, Mary-Jane Mberi, Nitassha Somai, Erik Booysen, Dale Stonebridge, and David Hill, into Assurance.

Kerin Wood and Gavin Johnston have admitted partners into Advisory, and Michael Butler into the Tax and Regulatory Services.

In Zambia, the partners admitted include George Chitwa, Tax, and Martin Bamukunde in Assurance.

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Andre Burger was admitted Partner, Assurance in Namibia; Mwangi Karanja, Partner Assurance in Kenya; and Icho Molebatsi, Partner Assurance, in Botswana.

Two partners were admitted in Ghana, Richard Ansong in Assurance; and Kingsford Arthur in Advisory.

READ MORE: Dual citizenship firm opens office in Nigeria for millionaires, charges over $1 million

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About PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms headquartered in London, United Kingdom, operating as partnerships in several countries under the PwC brand.

PwC has about 400 partners and over 9,000 people spread across 34 countries in Africa.

 

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Patricia
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Hospitality & Travel

Arik Air to resume flights on July 8 as FG lifts ban on air travel

Capt. Roy Ilegbodu announced that Arik Air airline would operate 3 flights from Lagos and Abuja in phase 1 of the re-opening.

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COVID-19: Arik Air suspends flights to West Coast, COVID-19: Arik Air. Aero, Dana, others suspend flight operations, Arik Air to resume flights on July 8 as FG lifts ban on air travel

Following the announcement by the Aviation Ministry that the Lagos and Abuja airports will reopen on the 8th of July, Arik Air announced on Sunday that its domestic flights will resume from July 8.

Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, announced in a statement that the airline would operate 3 flights from Lagos and Abuja in phase 1 of the re-opening. He also announced that flights to Port Harcourt will begin on July 11 when the airport reopens. Some part of his statement read:

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“We are ready to fly our esteemed customers again. All preparations have been made to make flying in this extraordinary period in the world safe and pleasurable.

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“The airline has put various measures in place, in line with COVID-19 health protocols, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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“Passengers have been assured of their safety and wellbeing at every stage of their flight.

“Arik has worked actively with aviation agencies for an effective re-start of the industry and also ensure that agreed health measures are effectively implemented.”

READ MORE: FAAN bans non-travelling passengers from airport as flight operations resume

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The CEO then advised that passengers come properly kitted with face masks during the flights.

Arik Air suspended operations on March 27 after the Federal Government closed the airports to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

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Companies

NSITF board to investigate suspended MD and others over financial misconduct

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NSITF, FG moves to scrap hazard allowances earned by State Governors

The board of directors of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has revealed that it will investigate the activities of the suspended Managing Director, 3 Executive Directors, and 8 other senior management staff over financial breaches and gross misconduct.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the board of NSITF, Mr. Austin Enajemo-Isire, in a statement in Enugu on Sunday July 5, 2020.

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Enajemo-Isire said that the Managing Director and other top management staff of the organization would have the opportunity to clear themselves of any wrongdoing with the probe panel which was being set up.

READ MORE: Ecobank appoints Aissatou Djiba Diallo to oversee its fintech initiatives 

While reacting to claims that the suspension did not follow due process as President Muhammadu Buhari did not approve it, Enajemo-Isire said that the approval for the suspension of the affected staff had been conveyed to the Labour Minister in a correspondence referenced SGF. 47/511/T/99 of June 30, 2020.

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According to the Chairman, “The minister has conveyed this approval and directives to me for necessary action in terms of setting up a board-driven investigative panel.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s debt rises to $79.5 billion, as debt to revenue ratio worsens

“This is to give the affected officers the opportunity to clear themselves of the financial and procurement breaches and acts of gross misconduct and other infractions that gave rise to their prima facie indictment.

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“It is in this light that I have decided to call a virtual meeting of the management board on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to consider the modalities for our action.”

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He, therefore, appealed to staffers of NSITF and their social partners to keep calm and exercise restraint.

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A few days ago, Nairametrics reported the suspension of the Managing Director and some senior management staff over corruption allegations. However, the management in its reaction debunked that claim and said that the President did not approve their suspension but that rather, it was the sole decision of the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, who they said was overreaching himself.

Patricia
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