The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the nation’s telecommunication industry regulator, has issued the Lawful Interception of Communications Regulations, 2019 which compels telecommunications operators in the country to monitor and keep records of calls and other communications passing through their networks. This action, according to the Commission is to stem the rising insecurity in the country, especially kidnapping.
The Regulation makes it an offence for telecoms operators which fail to monitor and keep records of calls and other communications passing through their networks, may attract be fined.
It said the operators must have the records and be ready to make them available to security agencies should the need arise. It warned that any telecom operator which fails to comply with this directive will be immediately fined N5 million as well as additional daily fine of N500,000 until such an operator complies.
Failure of the telecommunication operators to comply with this Regulation could lead to the revocation of their licenses, according to the provisions of section 45 in the NCC Act.
The telecommunication firms bear the cost of acquiring, maintaining and monitoring and keeping records of calls and other communications within their networks as the regulations states: “Every Licensee shall, within such period as may be specified by the Commission, acquire all necessary facilities and devices to enable the monitoring of communications under these Regulations realisable. The investment, technical, maintenance and operating costs to enable the Licensee give effect to the provisions of these Regulations shall be borne by the Licensee.”