Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator NCC has kicked off its Sim card registration drive in the country, local papers report. The regulator says Nigerians who wish to purchase and activate new mobile phones will find that henceforth the provider companies will ask to take their photographs and fingerprints for proper identification. Those who already hold active phones which are not properly registered will be required to submit themselves for the same purpose within six months. This is in compliance with the directive of the NCC requiring that all Sim cards be properly registered. There are currently over 78.5 million active phone lines in the country. Over 90 percent of these are mobile lines and over 90 percent of these are not properly registered. The purpose of the Sim registration exercise is to have a proper record of phone users for security reasons, so that in the event of the use of a phone for criminal or other anti-social conduct, the user can be traced. The country’s network operators have been purchasing equipment and training personnel to effect the registration of Sim cards directive. Network operators asked for extensions to the start of the exercise and to be allowed to conduct the Sim registration themselves, so as to guaranty the integrity of their data.