The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had made it illegal for Nigerians below 18 years to register and own a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).
This was contained in 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.
It said in part: “‘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 utilises 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 develop and review its regulatory instruments by incorporating the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders.”
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.