On the 15th of December, 2020, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) ordered mobile network operators in the country to suspend the sale and activation of newest Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.
The enterprise regulator additionally ordered Nigerians to hyperlink their Nationwide Identification Numbers (NIN), supplied by the Nationwide Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
According to the NCC, all SIMs now not linked by October 30, 2020 ought to restful be blocked by the MNOs.
Whereas justifying the present, the NCC talked about it changed into as soon as an “urgent drastic measure that has now severely change inevitable to augment the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration assignment.”
As accurate because the intentions of authorities will be in ordering the linkage of NINs to SIMS, what many, alternatively, have idea to be unreasonable changed into as soon as the unrealistic two-week deadline given, in particular with simply about 38% of Nigerians who had their NINs as of December 15th when the present changed into as soon as given.
According to data from the NCC, as for the time being, Nigeria had about 198 million bright mobile phone lines, in a country of about 200 million other folks. What this mean is that plenty of of Nigerians had simply two weeks to register with the NIMC and receive their NINs.
Despite the incontrovertible fact that the NCC has graciously, prolonged the deadline on two events, with basically the most new extension to final unless early April, 2021, the strategy of NIN registration, for a lot of Nigerians, has severely change herculean, extorting and and with the exception of.
Despite the incontrovertible fact that there were fears on the starting of the exercise of a predominant successfully being disaster, as hundreds of Nigerians thronged NIMC workplaces nationwide to receive registered at a time the 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemic changed into as soon as ravaging the country, NIMC’s permission to just a few corporations and MNOs appear to have lessened the fears.
Ripping off the Unhappy
The above, withstanding, Nigerians have persevered to complain about how they’re being extorted by these saddled with the registration.
Reviews abound all around the country of Nigerians paying as mighty as N5,000 to receive registered. A resident of Sango, on the outskirts of Lagos relayed his experience at a native authorities secretariat, where he had gone to register.
The resident, who gave his establish simply as Bolu, talked about he, others on the centre were compelled to phase with N5,000 each ahead of they were singled out of the crowd and attended to.
He talked about: “I went to native authorities secretariat in Sango-Ota for my NIN registration and as long-established, there changed into as soon as a truly perfect crowd, no subject getting there very early in the morning. A younger man, who regarded to be an agent of the NIMC officials changed into as soon as going one individual to the assorted soliciting them to phase with money in inform that they’ll be attended to.
“He came to me and solicited, promising that I would be promptly attended to. Attributable to the gigantic crowd, I had no chance than to present in to his calls for. Luckily, he made accurate his words as we were all referred to as in for our registration.”
David Akolade, a Computer Science student of the Kogi Explain College, Ayangba, who’s for the time being in Lagos for his Industrial Practicing, at one of many corporations at Motorways Centre, Ikeja Lagos, a different design noticed him parting with N2,000 to be registered.
According to him, the total public working the gargantuan advanced trooped and all parted with N2,000 each to receive registered over the three days the special registration centre lasted.
Yet any other student, whose father gave her establish simply as Precious changed into as soon as mandated to pay N3,000 on the main campus of the Oduduwa College, Ipetumodu, Osun Explain to have her NIN registration done.
The distraught father, who wondered why college students needs to be made to phase with money ahead of they enrol in an exercise authorities talked about is free, believes authorities most bright created one other illicit formulation for some officials to make cash by ripping off uncomfortable Nigerians.
Ex-communicating Rural Dwellers
If residents of city and semi-city areas are complaining about extortion by officials of NIMC ahead of they could perhaps receive registered, the grief in the nation’s grand rural areas are mighty more troubling.
Experiences from different parts of the country counsel that there could be no presence of registration officials in most rural communities in the country.
A source, who most smartly-appreciated now not to be named described how after spending just a few days in his village in the North-Central geopolitical zone, stumbled on that the native inhabitants were left to their destiny and simply most likely expecting when NCC will salvage accurate its chance that SIMs now not linked to NIN ought to restful be blocked.
The source talked about: “I in fact were in the village for the previous few days and I will confidently verify to you that there is nothing treasure NIN registration occurring here. The opposite folks in my village have never seen any legitimate from NIMC or the telecoms corporations that has been licensed to determine in NIN registration.
“I in fact have spoken to just a few other folks since I got here and it’s a ways disheartening that after these villagers salvage efforts to run to the native authorities headquarters for registration, they’re compelled to pay to receive it done.
“And that is now not simply going down in my village, it’s a ways alleged to be the identical grief in the final rural communities in the voice. That is alleged to be a nationwide exercise that ought to veil each phase of the country. Sadly, that is now not the case.”
Continuing, the source talked about fascinated about the incontrovertible fact that majority of the nation’s inhabitants live in the agricultural areas, if the new grief doesn’t substitute, plenty of hundreds of hundreds of Nigerians will be cleave support off with out a entry to phones for them to be in contact with their cherished ones.
Speaking on the enchancment, a public affairs analyst, Chukwudi Okonkwo, talked about that what is going down with the NIN registration is now not neutral, because it’s a ways the long-established Nigerian formulation of doing issues.
“Nigerian policy makers are deficient in the case of thinking issues thru and rising with policies which could perhaps perhaps be unhappy proof. Even after they organize to have a accurate policy in region, imposing it turns into one other headache.
“I truly reveal the authorities never idea out this policy successfully and they additionally did now not salvage ample preparations for its implementation. That’s noticeable from the preliminary two weeks deadline given to bigger than 100 million Nigerians to register for NIN and additionally hyperlink it with their SIMs”, he talked about.
Continuing, Okonkwo talked about it’d be nefarious to dam lines of Nigerians in rural communities if ample preparations have to now not made for them to receive registered.
“This would perhaps quantity to punishing them for what they invent now not have management over. If authorities did now not salvage provision for rural dwellers to be registered, the identical authorities would be morally unfriendly to compel telecoms corporations to dam their lines”, he concluded.
A senior workers of 1 of the telecoms corporations in Lagos, who selected to stay nameless believes that the Federal Authorities thru the NCC will now not have any determination than to restful reveal one other extension, arguing that the eight extension announced just a few days previously will restful now not work.
“Even with the network operators now allowed to complete NIN registration, we restful cannot meet the deadline with out having to unjustifiably leaving out some other folks with out entry to phone services and products. Apart the agricultural areas where network points and the remoteness of their locations could perhaps hamper effective registration, the cities and greater towns haven’t been solely served. For each Nigerian to be covered, which I reveal is the motive of the exercise, there ought to restful be one other extension”, he talked about.
DAILY POST, in an strive to receive a response produce the NIMC on the points raised by Nigerians, referred to as and despatched messages to the rate for feedback, nonetheless none came as on the time of submitting this document.