The Nigerians Telecommunications Commission NCC, have been directed by the Nigerian government to deactivate 37.79 million mobile lines in the country for reasons bothering on safety and security.
This is a part of measures being taken by the government to curtail insurgency in the country and fight insecurity. Recall that the country has been under siege and attack from the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram for more than six years.
On assumption of power, the current government led by President Muhammadu Buhari promised to tackle insurgency with renewed vigour. Earlier this month, the service chiefs were directed by the government to bring an end to the reign of terror being posed by Boko Haram in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.
The move is aimed at hitting the terrorist group, who have developed a habit of using mobile phones to co-ordinate their activities, according to TechForge via Telecompaper. The report disclosed that Nigeria’s four telecom giants, MTN, Glo Mobile, Airtel and Etisalat, have all deactivated mobile lines with either unregistered or improperly registered data since September 7 2015.
The breakdown of telecom firms most affected by the order shows that Etisalat was most affected with 19.46 million lines deactivated, while MTN, Glo and Airtel had 18.6 million, 2.33 million and 7.4 million respectively. This has also cost the GSM providers too in terms of revenue, with the report a daily loss of NGN 251.94 million (USD 1.25 million).
Decision to deactivate the lines was taken after a meeting between network operators, telecom regulator NCC, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and Department of State Service (DSS).