The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says reports of the agency limiting the age to get a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) is still a draft proposal.
In a statement on Wednesday, the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde described the reports pegging 18 years as the age requirement for getting as SIM card as “misleading and inaccurate.”
“The age of 18 years for SIM acquisition proposed in the draft regulation is contingent on the constitutional provision, which makes 18 years the age of consent in Nigeria,” Adinde further noted in the press release.
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He said the move is to protect minors and reiterated the NCC’s drive to deepen digital inclusion in Nigeria.
“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,” says the NCC.
The NCC added that getting SIM cards is an agreement between telecoms service providers and their customers but maintained that the draft proposal is in line with the provisions of the Nigerian law.
The proposal, the commission explained, will get inputs from relevant stakeholders before it is approved.
“In accordance with sections 70 and 71 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and the Commission’s consultative engagement process, which define its rule-making process, the public inquiry was held for all relevant stakeholders to provide input on the draft regulatory instrument,” the statement added.