Pantami faults reports on unregistered SIMs



Dr Isa Pantami,Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has faulted reports claiming that he had been summoned by the Senate over continued usage of unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIMs) Cards in the country.

This is contained in a statement by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant on Information Technology to the Minister on Thursday in Abuja.

Adeluyi said that the minister was awaiting an official invitation from the lawmakers and would like to sincerely thank the Distinguished Senators for their concern and support towards improving national security.

According to him, the minister has always supported security agencies in their statutory duties of protecting lives and property.

“This is why his first action after his appointment was to issue a directive that no improperly registered SIM cards be allowed to remain on our networks.

“Based on the report submitted by the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) on Sept. 26, 2019, there is currently no improperly registered SIM on our networks.

“In the event of evidence to the contrary, the minister will sanction any individual or institution found wanting,” he said.

He said that Pantami wrote to all security agencies on Oct.14, 2019, where he urged them to collaborate with the ministry whenever a crime had been abetted through the use of telecommunication devices.

“No request by security agencies for assistance in the identification of owners of SIMs used for crime has gone untreated in his office.

“The minister also submitted a detailed memorandum to the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges on Feb.12.
“It contained details on policies developed by the Ministry to enhance security,” he said.

He said that the minister also directed the NCC to ensure that it put in place modalities to tie the National Identify Number (NIN) to SIMs, as well as see to it that no unregistered SIMs were being sold.

Adeluyi said that Pantami also directed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to significantly scale up the number of monthly NIN registrations.

He said that the minister recently presented a Draft National Policy on Digital Identity for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which took place on Nov. 11.

“The memo was approved and will support in the provision of Digital IDs for Nigerians, thus assisting in the implementation of the policy to tie NINs to SIMs.

“The minister wishes to assure the senators and Nigerians that the ministry is committed to using technology to support the growth of our economy and the security of our nation.

“To this end, we look forward to collaborating with the senate and security agencies in this regard,” Adeluyi said. (NAN)