Reps Task National Security Adviser, Telecom Firms On Stiff Regulation Of Unregistered SIM Cards

Reps Task National Security Adviser, Telecom Firms On Stiff Regulation Of Unregistered SIM Cards

The House of Representatives on Tuesday tasked the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and telecommunication companies with the need to ensure that SIM cards that are barred in Nigeria for failing to link them with the National Identification Number (NIN), cannot be used in any part of the world.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the Matter of Urgent Public Importance sponsored by Hon. Ahmed Munir.

In his lead debate, Hon. Munir who stated that since the reason for blocking SIM cards not linked to NIN was to curtail their use for unscrupulous purposes, wondered why measures were not put in place to ensure these cards do not work when they are roamed abroad.

 He stated that the SIM cards have been found to function perfectly when they are taken to as close as Benin Republic, Niger or Chad and roamed.

The lawmakers also tasked the licensed telecommunications companies to block the loopholes that make this possible as the reason for the blocking was apt and should not malfunction in this manner, allowing kidnappers and terrorists to take advantage of the loophole.

Hon. Munir further called on the Office of the National Security Adviser to ensure this is dealt with forthwith.

To this end, the House mandated the House Committees on National Security and Intelligence as well as telecommunications to ensure compliance.

Also at the plenary, the House passed through Third Reading five bills including a bill which seeks to amend Sections 2, 4, 7, 11 and 15 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, 2004.

The bill seeks to provide for the rehabilitation of delinquent children, and provide a comprehensive definition for services, stakeholders and Children or Wards as captured in the Enabling Act by providing a role of Community Based Organisations in the development of basic education in States and Local Government Councils, including Senior Secondary Education as part of Basic Education in Nigeria and for related matters.

Other proposed legislation which passed through Third Reading is A Bill for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Statisticians of Nigeria to determine what standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become Members of the Institute, review those standards from time to time; A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act, 2004 and enact the Nigerian Tourism Development Bill, 2022; A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Foresters and A Bill for an Act to establish National Institute of Industrial Technology, Kwale to provide for its functions and Management.

The bill seeks to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014 to make provisions for the establishment of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Staff Pension Bureau and the Federal Capital Territory Area Councils Staff Pension Bureau, for effective pension administration, management and service delivery, scaled through Second Reading.

In the same vein, the House passed through Second Reading a Bill which seeks to establish the Chartered Institute of Digital Technology and Development of Nigeria, sponsored by Hon. Solomon Maren.

In his lead debate, Hon. Maren stated that digital learning is at the forefront of global development and the Bill seeks to ensure Nigerians are not left behind in the new trend of getting things done easier, more efficiently and smarter.

According to him, the proposed legislation further seeks to provide a high-quality learning environment for those interested in this form of e-learning and skill development.

After the consideration of the bill, it was referred to the House Committee on Science and Technology for further legislative action.

The lawmakers during the Committee of the Whole also adopted the report on a Bill which seeks to establish the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and provide for the creation and development of an enabling environment for technology-enabled Startups in Nigeria and for related matters.

The bill which was passed recently by the Senate seeks to advance the technological development of the nation.


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