NCC wants to ban under-18 Nigerians from owning SIM cards

Stakeholders have proposed that the age limit be set to 14 years instead.

NCC expects the policy to help strengthen national security

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has proposed a new policy to ban people below 18 years of age from registering and owning a SIM card in Nigeria.

The proposal in the draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations stipulates that subscribers of communications must not be below 18.

Stakeholders have proposed that the age limit be set to 14 years instead.

The NCC said in a statement on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 that the proposal was developed based on the constitutional provision that makes 18 years the age of consent in Nigeria.

The agency said SIM acquisition is a contract between service providers and their subscribers, and requires the subscriber to have proper legal status.

The commission further proposed that parents and guardians can acquire SIM cards in their own names on behalf of their children and wards.

The parents/guardians will, by consequence, assume whatever responsibilities or liabilities that arise from the usage of such cards.

"The draft proposal is intended to guarantee increased monitoring of children and shield the minors from undue liabilities in line with NCC's Child Online Protection drive," NCC spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde, said.

The proposed regulations deal with regulatory instruments on registration of telephone subscribers regulation, the SIM replacement guidelines, and the spectrum trading guidelines.

Other proposed measures include disqualifying independent registration agents from having access to subscriber information.

All agents or people who register SIM cards in shops, or private agents or sub agents will also no longer have access to details of subscribers, with limits to personal information.

NCC said in Wednesday's statement that it is reviewing all input from relevant stakeholders, and will consider and deliberate on all comments before issuing a final regulatory instrument.

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