Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says terrorists and bandits are denied access to telecommunication services with the ongoing implementation of National Identity Number, SIM linkage policy in Nigeria.
The Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement NCC, Mr Ephraim Nwokonanya, represented by Head Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC, Mr Alkasim Umar made this disclosure at the One-day Capacity Building for members of the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Abuja Chapter on Thursday at the Commission Headquarters, Abuja.
Mr Umar who was speaking on the NIN-SIM linkage, Menace of Network Booster Devices, other Compliance, Monitoring Enforcement issues of the Commission, stressed that there is an appreciable progress in NIN-SIM linkage policy meant o address rising cases of insurgency, kidnapping and banditry in the country.
He explained that NIN-SIM implementation has been a potent tool in addressing the Nation’s insecurity challenges.
Umar, who lamented the illegal use of network boosters disclosed that the commission is committed to persecuting Nigerians using network boosters in their homes and offices at detriment of others.
According to him, “Yes we are making progress. The only challenge we are faced with now is, If they kidnap you, I mean the bandits; they use your number to call. They will never use their phones lines, it is the kidnapped person’s phone number they use to call and switch it off immediately. They can keep you at a different place and make somewhere else. If a phone is off, there is no way one can trace it. It’s a big challenge.
“Even in the National Assembly someone brought this up, to ban all kidnappers lines, some people objected, that if they use a person number to make calls why can’t Federal Government block the terrorists/bandits phone numbers. Then someone rose up to say there will be more killings, this is because kidnappers are after victims’ money so there is no way it will curb the problem. But now there is progress, because they are being denied of SIM cards”, he stated.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Director of Public Affairs NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde said the capacity training is premised on the Commission recognition of the important media practitioners in its day-to-day activities.
“Let me be quick to mention that the Commission recognizes the importance of NITRA as a strategic ally, and this accounts for why we have on several occasions provided capacity building and trainings for members of NITRA with the aim of providing the platform for equipping you as our stakeholders and partners from the Media with the knowledge and skill required to do your jobs effectively, efficiently and in the most professional manner”, the said.
Meanwhile, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis, NCC, Mr Atu Sunday who spoke intensively on the issues around International Termination Rate(ITR) for Voice services, explained that the Commission’s ITR policy is ultimately designed to carter for the interest of Nigeria and all telecoms stakeholders.
On ITR rate floor price pegged at $0.0045, Mr Sunday said the commission utilized the best pricing modem to arrive at the figure that is why the rate is not too high or low.
“So, if the rate is too high between portfolio Nigerians who are only developing their pockets in just being able to call but at the same time, the rate should be fair that it will also not be injurious to our balance of payments. It will also not be injurious to the profitability of the operators”, he explained.
In another presentation session, Head Spectrum Administration NCC, Mr Usman Aliyu highlighted the Commission’s journey so far on 5G deployment in Nigeria.
In her remarks, the Head, Media and Public Relations NCC, Mrs. Grace Ojougboh lauded members of NITRA for their professional reportage of the Commission.
On his part, speaking on behalf of NITRA President, Mr Blessingg Olaifa, Mr Emmanuel Elebeke appreciated NCC for the capacity training.
He assured that members of NITRA would continue to support the progressive policies of the commission via consistent reportage.
“We want to commend you for your consistency in churning out progressive policies and regulations that have positioned NCC as a pace setter in Africa.
“We assure you that we will keep faith with you and ensure that we always support you as expected as professionals in the courses of our reportage for the greater good and growth of the Nigerian economy”, he said.