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Nigeria telecom operators register 11million SIM Cards

mobilephone_africa2TELECOMMUNICATIONS operators in Nigeria have registered 11 million SIM cards, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has announced.

The Nigerian government as part of efforts to enhance security of lives and property ordered telcom operators to register SIM cards of their subscribers.

Telecom experts however stated that the number of registered SIM cards is still a far cry from the number of connected lines in the country.

The number of connected lines in Nigeria is currently put at 110 million with 80 million active subscribers and a teledensity of 53 per cent.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah however said that the commission will in the next few months, enter into a contract with KPMG to commence the full registration of all subscribers, having secured National Assembly approval of the commission’s 2010 budget.

There was widespread condemnation of the NCC’s involvement in the exercise which led to long delays in passing the agency’s 2010 budget- where over N6 billion was earmarked for the registration.

Juwah however ruled out compensation for network operators who had spent their resources registering the 11 million subscribers so far, saying “compensation was not part of the agreement they reached with the NCC and Federal Government.”

The NCC boss also used the occasion to announce that number portability will by May this year be implemented in the country.

SIMEON OGOEGBULEM in Abuja, Nigeria

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