The Federal Government has expressed concerns over the failure of major telecommunications companies in Nigeria; MTN, Airtel, GLO and 9Mobile to register millions of their subscribers on their platforms, maintaining that the development is hindering the efforts of government in tackling insecurity in the country.
A top Presidency source told the Bridge News, on Monday that worried by this trend, President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, directed the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) to meet with the Ministry of Digital Economy as well as telecoms companies in the country to proffer a lasting solution to the problem.
The Presidency source said “It is a public knowledge that millions of individuals and companies use unregistered mobile telephone numbers (GSM) for their daily transactions including criminal activities despite the directives given to mobile telecommunications providers by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to register all active SIM cards on their networks. But sadly, millions of subscribers have failed to have their number registered,
The source lamented that the telecommunications companies “are not doing anything about it and the Federal Government is worried about this and has directs the NSA to meet with the ministry and other stakeholders to urgently address the matter. It has become urgent that all mobile phone numbers in Nigeria are registered”.
Our correspondent gathered that the NSA is to lead the stakeholders meeting to fashion out the best ways to ensure that all active lines in the country are captured by their respective service providers.
The renewed effort the Presidency source added “is to help tackle insecurity in the country especially kidnapping, terrorism and financial crimes”.
“It is embarrassing to note that up till now there are still individuals who have not registered their mobile numbers with the different service providers. And it is sad that despite government’s directives, these telecommunications companies are still allowing these individuals and companies to continue to use their platforms to make calls. This is aiding criminality in the country and the President wants this to stop,” the source said adding that going forward any telecommunications company that failed to register their subscribers would be heavily sanctioned.
“We can’t really blame the telecommunications companies. It is the NCC that we should blame because they are the regulators and they should have made it clear from the beginning that any company that fails to register their subscribers would be sanctioned. I am sure that if they had done this, Nigeria would not be where it is now. The issue of kidnapping would have been a thing of the past and Nigeria would have been able to also monitor the activities of terrorists in our midst,” the source added.
The source added that with the new initiative of the Federal Government “Nigeria should be able to change the narrative in matters of insecurity. Security agencies would be able to work effectively to handle insecurity in the country”.