The Nigerian Communications Commission has fined Nigerian mobile network operators MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9Mobile (EMTS) the sum of N78.5 million for breaching sim replacement guidelines.
According to PMnewsNigeria, though the commission found the four network operators to be at fault, MTN, Airtel and Globacom were fined, but 9Mobile (EMTs) was only issued a warning.
“All the four mobile network operators, MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile (EMTs), were found to be in absolute breach of the SIM Replacement Guidelines at the last SIM replacement audit exercise conducted by the commission. A notice of sanction was consequently issued to the respective MNOs to show why appropriate sanctions should not be imposed for the violation,” NCC stated in its enforcement report.
The telecoms regulator also stated that each of the telecoms operators was sanctioned according to the number of infractions recorded against its network. Airtel was fined N3.2 million for 13 infractions recorded on its network, while Globacom pays the sum of N39.2 million for 37 infractions. MTN, which is the largest operator by subscriber number, was fined N36 million regarding 24 infractions discovered on its network.

Nigerian Communications Commission – Sim Replacement Guidelines

According to the SIM Replacement Guidelines issued by the regulator:

  1.  A SIM can be replaced if it is faulty, damaged, stolen, lost, obsolete (but eligible for replacement or an upgrade), and any other reason necessitating a SIM replacement.
  2. An operator may refuse a SIM Replacement request where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the replacement ought not to be carried out, and the Commission is notified within 24 hours of such a decision.
  3. The SIM must have been registered per the registration of telephone subscribers regulations issued by the commission.
  4. The subscriber requesting the replacement must provide the following: information about the three most frequently called numbers from that SIM, which the network service provider must verify, as well as the frequently called numbers must have been dialled at least five times over 30 days.
  5. Where the SIM to be replaced is a data SIM, the subscriber will be required to provide any two of the following: Last recharge amount and date, name of internet bundle value activated and data allowance allocated, last three sites visited, an affidavit signed by the subscriber and a passport photograph of the subscriber where the replacement is to be done by a proxy.

Nigerian Communications Commission
A network service provider shall be held liable for any SIM replacement carried out in violation of these regulations or done fraudulently by its agent or dealer. The subscriber can pursue any other remedies against a network service provider.
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