The Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria has expressed concern over the safety of all subscribers’ personal information to be collated by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
According to the body, the federal government / MINC should compel the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) to ensure that personal data of subscribers are safe with its members (telecom operators).
According to the National President of ATCIS, Prince Sina Bilesanmi, their concern emanates from past cases which fingers some of the staffs of telecoms /MNOs in fraudulent practices in which they were alleged to have connived with some fraudsters to sell out the information provided by subscribers. This Bilesanmi says must be thoroughly guarded against.
He said, “ALTON should assure ATCIS that subscribers’ NIN-data are safe with its members,”
ATCIS, however, lauded the Federal Government’s announcement that some other private and public organizations had also been licensed by the commission to provide NINs in order to address the crowds at commission’s offices.
According to the subscribers association, the decision would no doubt go a long way in reducing the large crowds that normally throng the NIMC offices on daily basis.
“I consider it good news that the NIMC has given the mobile network operators, MNO licences. I believe it would help in reducing the crowds as well the risk of people contracting COVID-19 especially against the manner in which Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has exposed our people in this period of a pandemic.
“This is part of what we have been clamouring for that the NIN registration should be suspended considering the situation we are in whereby people are expected to strictly observe social distancing, but unfortunately the bid to beat the NIN registration deadline has made people throw caution into the winds,” Bilesanmi submitted.
On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government had declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.
It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following ATCIS widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020 to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, but many organisations had called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.