The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is not developing a regulation that will disqualify Nigerians below 18 years of age from getting Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).
A statement signed by the Director public Affairs NCC Dr Ikechukwu Adinde refutes a publication in a section of the media, purporting that the Commission is developing a regulation to disqualify Nigerians below 18 years of age from getting (SIM) saying the report is not only misleading and inaccurate; but a misinformation and mischaracterisation of the proceedings of the Public Inquiry on the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, which took place on Tuesday, October 6, 2021.
It notes that the Commission considers it necessary to set the record straight for the purpose of serving existing and potential telecom subscribers , investors and other stakeholders in the industry with accurate information to make informed decisions.
In accordance with sections 70 and 71 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and the Commission’s consultative engagement process, which define its rule-making process, the public inquiry was held for all relevant stakeholders to provide input on the draft regulatory instrument.
It states that 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.
Also, SIM acquisition is a contract between service providers and their subscribers, which requires the subscriber to have proper legal status, be of matured mind and rational enough to bear certain responsibilities, obligations and liabilities imposed by a contract.
The proposal is, therefore, to protect minors. Parents and guardians can acquire SIMs in their names on behalf of their children and wards in which case they assume whatever responsibilities or liabilities that arise from the usage of such SIMs, a measure expected to also strengthen national security.