Chairmanship nominee of the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC board, Prof. Adeolu Akande has revealed that wrong registration of the Subscriber Identity Module, SIM cards by Telecoms operators was responsible for the rising trend of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery, among other crimes in the country.
Akande, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday during his screening by the Senate Committee on Communications, chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubub (APC Lagos Central) led committee on Communication, explained that the inability of the operators or their agents to capture the true identity of subscribers has further heightened the level of criminality in the country.
While lamenting that the telecoms firms have not been adopting the correct measures in helping to curb crimes in the country, he also maintained that the NCC has a lot to do with their regulation and enforcement.
“There is no doubt that the use of communication as a tool on criminality has been on the rise. All over the world, emphasis are being placed on the use of telecommunication as a tool of curbing crime,:but unfortunately in Nigeria, we are seeing the opposite where communication has become the major tool of criminality.
“The major problem is that why kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits use communication facility is that we have problem with using communication to track the identity of Nigerians who are residents of Nigeria.
“The key problem is the management of the subscribers identity module known as SIM card. We found out that there is wrong phone registration of subscribers. People register SIM cards not with their true identity and when such SIM cards are used for criminality and they are tracked it leads to wrong people rather than the authentic perpetrators of crimes,” he stressed.
Akande went further: “So, we have issues with management of SIM cards by the operators. Of late, the NCC and the ministry of Communications have tried to ratify this because I recall that in the last few months under the structure of the ministry, about two million lines have been ratified.
“There appears to be a law after that effort when in the recent weeks we have also found out that the use of telephone or mobile phones for criminality have been on the rise. What this simply means is that telecoms are not doing what they are suppose to do.
“We have a regulation but what that says is that NCC has a lot to do with regulation and enforcement. NCC could be doing but the truth of the matter is NCC has to do more because it occupies a very key position in the enforcement of security in the country.
“So, NCC has to up its game to ensure that the telecoms operators register authentic people with the SIM cards so that if anybody perpetrate any criminality using the SIM card that person could be arrested and charged by the security agencies.”
The nominee also stressed the need for close collaboration between the NCC and security agencies in the country to end the increasing wave of insecurity in the country.
“There is also need do closer collaboration between NCC and the security agencies.
“Physical enforcement of laws is taking the back seat all over the world, what is in the forefront is the use of information technology (ICT) to combat and identify criminals and this is what NCC has to do by playing the critical role that involves on it to ensure that it deploys the ICT for the purpose of preventing crimes and for the purpose of identify criminals our society with the use of communication facility,” he noted.
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