The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has disqualified anyone below the age of 18 from registering and owning a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in Nigeria.

This is according to the draft copy of the modified Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations published on the commission’s website.

In the modified regulations, NCC limited telecoms subscribers to only include anyone above the age of 18.

“‘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 Licensee refers to ‘a provider of communications services that utilize a subscription medium in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

The regulations were made 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.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, gave the opening remark at the event.

He said, “The public inquiry is an avenue that enables the commission to develop and review its regulatory instruments by incorporating the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders.”

During the public inquiry, which was held physically and virtually, key stakeholders, including MTN, urged the commission to revise the age limit.

MTN asked the commission to make the age limit 14 years and above.

The NCC, however, insisted on 18 years and above for anyone who wants to own and register a SIM in Nigeria.

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