The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has debunked media reports that it is developing a regulation to disqualify Nigerians below the age 18 years from getting Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
In a statement Issued by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC said that the report is a misrepresentation of proceedings from the Public Inquiry on the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations.
It added that the public inquiry was held for all relevant stakeholders to provide input on the draft regulatory instrument in line with sections 70 and 71 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and the Commission’s consultative engagement process.
NCC explained that in the draft regulation thrown up in this public inquiry which define its rule-making process, the age of 18 years for SIM acquisition was proposed based on the constitutional provision, which makes 18 years the age of consent in Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “SIM acquisition is a contract between service providers and their subscribers, which requires the subscriber to have proper legal status, be of matured mind and rational enough to bear certain responsibilities, obligations and liabilities imposed by a contract.
“The proposal is, therefore, to protect minors. Parents and guardians can acquire SIMs in their names on behalf of their children and wards in which case they assume whatever responsibilities or liabilities that arise from the usage of such SIMs, a measure expected to also strengthen national security.
“While the Commission is progressively pursuing digital inclusion for all, 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,” it said.
The foregoing notwithstanding, NCC said the consultative engagement process is still ongoing, as it is reviewing all input from relevant stakeholders in this regard and will consider and deliberate on all comments before issuing a final regulatory instrument.
Source: Naija News