The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned telecom subscribers in the country to avoid sharing their cell phones, National Identity Number (NIN), and Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with others in view of the risks.
The commission’s Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Efeosa Edehen, who gave the warning on Thursday at a consumer conversation event with the theme ‘Know Your Rights and Obligations as a Telecom Consumer’ organised by the commission in Abuja, threatened that defaulters would be held liable for any crime committed with the use of their SIM cards.
The director urged Nigerians telecom subscribers to be extremely careful with their devices so they do not fall into the hands of people, who may use the devices to commit crimes which will later be traced to the owners of the devices, NIN or SIM cards.
Similarly, he advised Nigerians not to help any of the consumers link their SIM cards with their NIN or give phones to other people to make calls, send texts, or use social media.
He elaborated: “Your phone carries your identity and therefore should be protected and always be with you. Note that you will be responsible for whatever wrong/offense someone else committed while using your SIM card(s). So, be very vigilant.
“As a citizen, it is very important and necessary to register for National Identity Number (NIN) and to ensure your NIN is linked to your SIM cards”, the director added.
Edehen further explained that consumers had the right to receive clear and complete terms and conditions for service agreement and disclosures of price for goods and services and to affirmatively accept all terms and conditions before being charged for services.
Also, he pointed out that they have the right to be protected against fraudulent, misleading and deceitful information, advertisement or labelling.
According to him, the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA 2003) and Consumer Code of Practice and Regulations 2007 (CCPR 2007) ensure that service providers deal reasonably with the consumers by providing them with complete, accurate, and up to date in simple and clear language information on their service.
He clarified: “The Commission plays a vital role in National Security and works very closely with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Security Agencies and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“It also works with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other relevant bodies at ensuring security in the use of the telecom network”, the director stressed.
Advising parents on how to checkmate the excesses of their children with the use of phones and other devices, Edehen said: “Ask how your children use the internet. Make them aware that there are things on the internet, which may upset them and that they can always talk to you, their parents, or any trusted adult within.
“Make sure your children realise that they should never give out personal details such as names, address, school names, and telephone numbers to online friends they do not know”, he added.