Buying Pre-Registered SIM Cards Illegal, Offenders Face Imprisonment – NCC

Buying Pre-Registered SIM Cards Illegal, Offenders Face Imprisonment – NCC Warns Nigerians


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned Nigerians against purchasing pre-registered SIM cards.

The commission made it clear that this is an illegal act punishable by imprisonment. The telecom regulator made this known on its X platform on Friday, May 17, 2024.

According to the commission, “Buying pre-registered SIM cards is criminal and may lead to imprisonment, implication in identity theft, financial fraud, kidnapping, and armed robbery.”

They claim that the use of pre-registered SIM cards undermines the accuracy of consumer information. The use of such SIM cards to commit a crime may complicate efforts to apprehend the true culprits of crimes.


Recall that Nigerian telecommunications companies were mandated to link subscribers’s National Identification Numbers (NIN) to these SIM cards. This initiative started in December 2020 to reduce the level of cybercrime and make it easier to identify offenders.

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Subscribers who didn’t link their NIN were barred on February 28 and March 29. After consideration, the deadline for linking SIM cards to NIN was extended to July 31, 2024, for subscribers with more than four SIMs.

Izuchukwu Ojibe

Ojibe Izuchukwu is a Nigerian student with a passion for media reporting and content writing.

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