Parents Can Get SIM Cards for Children Under 18 – NCC
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), parents and guardians of Nigerians under the age of 18 can obtain Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in their names on behalf of their children and wards.
In a statement on Thursday, NCC Director of Public Affairs Ikechukwu Adinde stated that such parents would then accept any duties or liabilities arising from the use of such SIMs bought for their children or wards.
This move, he claims, will boost national security.
According to Adinde, the proposed age of 18 years for SIM acquisition in the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations is contingent on the constitutional clause that sets the age of consent in Nigeria 18 years.
He explained that SIM purchase is a contract between service providers and their subscribers that requires the subscriber to have adequate legal status, to be of mature mind, and to be reasonable enough to bear certain responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities imposed by the contract.
“While the Commission is gradually pursuing digital inclusion for all, the draft proposal is meant to ensure increased supervision of children and protect minors from unnecessary obligations in accordance with the NCC’s Child Online Protection initiative,” the Commission stated.
In its draft regulation, the NCC set the minimum age for Nigerians to obtain SIM cards at 18.
On October 6, 2021, the Public Inquiry on the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations was held.
Adinde stated that the public inquiry was organized to allow all relevant stakeholders to submit feedback on the proposed regulatory instrument in compliance with sections 70 and 71 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 and the Commission’s consultative engagement procedure.
He did, however, state that the consultative engagement process is still in progress, as the agency is analyzing all input from key stakeholders and would examine and deliberate on all views before issuing a final regulatory document.