An ad hoc committee will be set up by the Nigerian House of Representatives to investigate how the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) authorized the sale of registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in the country, according to a recent blog post by AllAfrica. The National Assembly approved six billion Naira for SIM registrations in 2011, which was unanimously adopted after a sequel resolution by Rep. Abdulrahman Terab (ANPP-Borno).
Terab noted that registered SIM cards were being freely sold on the streets, which defeats the purpose of registering them in the first place. He said that crime was being committed using re-registered SIM cards since the true identity of subscribers was unknown.
In support of the motion, Rep. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi (PDF-Enugu) said that the passage of the six billion Naira for SIM registrations had been opposed by the majority of the sixth House of Representatives, and that the sale of these registered SIM cards was absurd. He said that the NCC was responsible for stopping the sale and should be held accountable for the six billion allocated for the process.
Rep. Jerry Manwe (PDF-Taraba) also supported the decision and suggested a thorough investigation into the matter. Other representatives including Mustapha Khabeeb (PDP-Jigawa), Peter Edeh (ANPP-Ebonyi) and Abike Dabiri-Erewa (AN-Lagos) had similar sentiments and called for a review of the NCC act that would help strengthen its operations and also for the accountability of the commission. It was also suggested that subscribers be educated on the risk of using SIM cards registered under a different name.
Incidentally, President Goodluck Jonathan had written to the House urging for the NCC budget to be re-considered for this year, the same day that the motion came to the floor. The commission however demanded an explanation to the people of Nigeria as to how the money had been spent before any further budget allocations were approved.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin