By Innocent Odoh, Abuja
The telecom industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warmed telecom consumers on the dangers of sharing their phones, National Identity Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card with other people, stressing that they will face the consequences for any crime committed with the SIM.
NCC director of consumer affairs bureau, Efeosa Edehen, gave this warning on Thursday during an enlightenment dialogue organised for residents of Abuja with the theme ‘Know your Rights and Obligations as a Telecom Consumer’.
He said consumers should be very careful with their devices so they don’t fall into the hands of wrong people who would use them to commit crime and later it would be traced to the owner of the device, NIN or SIM card.
“Do not help other people to link their SIM cards with your NIN, Handle your phone with care. Be careful how you give your phones to other people to make calls, send texts, or use social media. Your phone carries your identity and therefore should be protected and always be with you.
“Note that you will be responsible for whatever wrong/offense someone else committed while using your SIM card(s). So, be very vigilant,” he warned.
Edehen also advised Nigerians to take advantage of the time extension for the NIN-SIM linkage by the Federal Government, to enroll and link their NIN to their SIM, warning that the government might not have further extension and those lines which are not linked to the NIN might be blocked after the deadline.
LEADERSHIP reports that the new deadline for the NIN-SIM linkage exercise is now June 30, 2021.
“As a citizen, it is very important and necessary to register for National Identity Number (NIN) and to ensure your NIN is linked to your SIM cards,” he added.
He said further said that, “Consumers have the right to receive clear and complete terms and conditions for service agreement and disclosures of price for goods and services, and to affirmatively accept all terms and conditions before being charged for services. They have the right to be protected against fraudulent, misleading and deceitful information or advertisement or labelling.
“The Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA Act 2003) and Consumer Code of Practice & Regulations 2007 (CCPR 2007) ensure that service Providers deal reasonably with the consumers by providing them with information on their service that is complete, accurate, and up to date and in simple and clear language.”
He added that NCC was collaborating with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), security agencies, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant bodies to ensure security in the use of the telecom network.
He also urged parents and guardians to teach their children/wards on the proper use of internet, adding “make sure your child realises that they should never give out personal details such as names, address, school names, and telephone numbers to online friends they do not know.”
Speaking on the “awareness on SIM-NIN linkage”, representative of the Project Development Manager, Nnenna Ukoha, said that Nigerians who fail to link their NIN to their SIM would not be able to do bank transactions as the banks would soon begin to ask that customers tie their NIN to their bank accounts.
She also warned that those without NIN might not get drivers license and voters card, adding that they will not also enjoy the benefits of health insurance scheme or the contributing pension scheme.