It is now illegal to own SIM card in Nigeria if you are below the age of 18, you could be arrested. According to the new rule from the Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian citizens below the age of 18 would not be allowed to own a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card.
According to the commission, the new regulation was in line with the powers conferred upon the commission by section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.
In accordance with Section 57 of the Act, the NCC conducted a Public Inquiry on the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, alongside the draft SIM Replacement Guidelines and the draft Spectrum Trading Guidelines at its head office in Abuja on Tuesday.
Telecoms giant, MTN had opposed the new regulation, particularly the age limit, opining that the age limit should be 14 and not 18 years as declared by the commission.
The NCC, however, maintained its stance adding that the age limit remains 18 years.
“Subscriber’ means a person not below the age of 18 years who subscribes to communications services by purchasing a subscription medium or entering into a subscription contract with a licensee,” the commission said.
The licensee refers to ‘a provider of communications services that utilises a subscription medium in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
Finally, all agents or people who register SIM cards in shops or private agents or sub agents will no longer have access to details of subscribers. They now have limits to personal information.