FG authorises only security agencies to vet incriminating SIM cards

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja

08 September 2021   |  
4:18 am

Isa Ali Pantami

The Federal Government has said only security institutions are empowered to request the bio data of any SIM card used in committing crimes including kidnapping.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed this at the launch of the Strategic Vision Implementation Plan 2021 – 2025, yesterday.

He said: “It is not the right of any individual, NCC or supervising minister to request for the identity of the number. Rather when something happens and phone number is involved, the duty of people affected is to transmit that phone number to the police or the Department of State Services (DSS) for necessary action.”

He said: “When there is any security challenge, banditry and negotiations, people will complain about the telecommunication sector. Sometimes, there are issues that are not for public discussion. I will not in any way say them here. I will rather commend the efforts of security agencies for what they are doing to secure the country and pray God to make them more successful, so that we will have absolute peace and stability in the country.”

Pantami said the NCC Global Connect Podcast is a creative and innovative idea that would be used to disseminate information about what government is doing in the sector to Nigerians.

He said: “One of the challenges being faced by NCC is poor perception. Many citizens do not understand the work of NCC, and any problem they have with mobile phones, the complaint is about NCC. And at times, it is extended to the minister who is not a regulator.

“If someone is having a network challenge, they will complain to the NCC, forgetting that the challenges are multisectoral and that if there is more power supply, it will affect the quality of service and if there is vandalisation, it will affect the quality of service.

“To operate the telecommunication sector, over 32,000 power generators are being used daily. With the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari, especially the most recent efforts by Siemens, and many more, we have started seeing improvement in power supply.”

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