Telecommunications companies will now be fined N5 million if their agents are found carrying out the registration of SIM cards in an open or uncontrolled environments.
Head of enforcement unit at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Salisu Abdu,made this known on Wednesday while speaking with journalists.
Abdu said three persons found registering SIM cards in open places in Abuja had been arrested.
He said the federal government had already issued a directive to this effect through the NCC to all telecommunications operators.
The directive, Abdu noted, was issued in November 2016.
It warned the telecommunications companies that their agents should stop the registration of SIM cards under umbrellas and in kiosks as from February 1, 2017.
The NCC official said adherence to the directive will help the commission trace where SIM cards are registered.
“SIM registration should only be done in a controlled environment- a permanent building with logos and structures of the operators in place – with identities of the agents doing the registration.
“Today, in view of the fact that deadline has ended on February 2, the NCC team is going to ensure that no any agent are doing the registration outside the controlled environment.
“We went to Gwanrimpa Gate and some other places around the place. All the three we arrested today were doing the registration in a controlled environment; they were doing that under umbrellas and in kiosks.
“We came up with this so we will be able to trace where SIM cards are registered to stem the tide of rising crimes, especially kidnapping and militancy,” Abdu said.