Telecom operators in Nigeria have allegedly started to charge subscribers N100 to register their new SIM cards in the open market. This comes after the service was free when it was introduced in late March this year.
Newspaper Daily Trust learned that mobile phone operators Airtel, Glo, MTN, Etisalat and Visafone were the main culprits.
“At a registration point in Area 1, Abuja, an agent of one of the operators, who identified himself as Emeka, told Daily Trust that the directive which discontinued the registration of new SIM cards free of charge was given to them last month,” the newspaper wrote. “We have been collecting money since then,” he said.
However, MTN has refuted the claims, saying that they have never charged any amount for new registrations.
“MTN has never charged for SIM registration. Anybody who has been asked for money should immediately report to the nearest MTN service centre. Anyone who requests money for SIM registration is acting illegally and will be dealt with if found out,” said MTN spokesperson Mrs Funmi Omogbenigun.
Charlie Fripp – Acting online editor