The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered the suspension of the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.

The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was absolutely necessary for operators to comply until the audit exercise had been concluded.

According to him, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, directed the commission to embark on an audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.

He, however, said an exemption might be granted following approval from the Federal Government through the commission.

He warned that non-compliance with the directive would be met with strict sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license.

Adinde said the audit would help to consolidate the achievement of the SIM Card registration exercise.

The director explained that the objective of the audit exercise was to ensure compliance to set quality standards and requirements by mobile network operators.

According to him, the directive became necessary in view of the preponderance of pre-registered SIMs with the attendant security implications associated with the use of same to facilitate criminal activities.

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