The directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for all Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards not linked to the National Identification Number (NIN) to be deregistered by the end of December 2020 has been condemned by many Nigerians who believe it is insensitive and wrongly timed.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, on Monday, directed all subscribers to upgrade their registration with network operators by linking it to their NIN before December 30 or risk having their lines blocked permanently.
The new directive further stated that the submission of NIN by subscribers must take place within two weeks from today December 16, 2020, and end by December 30, 2020.
This directive, however, has not gone down well with many Nigerians who believe it is not only ill-timed but insensitive to the plights of many who are yet to recover from the shock of the recent grievous violence that trailed the EndSars protest.
Speaking on phone to a StarMedia Renaissance reporter, the National President of the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria, Hon Omoba Sina Bilesanmi condemned the move by the Telecommunications regulator describing it as poorly thought out and ill-advised.
Bilesanmi said although it is impossible to rule out the importance of having a proper database for all SIM users in the country, such directive as this should expectedly be given with adequate space for all well-meaning users to tap into.
“What is the rationale for insisting on just two weeks implementation of the order?” He asked.
Bilensami wondered why the people behind the idea did not consider the gap existing between the total number of Nigerians eligible to obtain the NIN and the actual holders before instigating such a directive.
He, therefore, calls on the NCC and MCDE to extend with immediate effect, the deadline for as instructed to give all Nigerians the adequate time necessary to meet up with the set conditions.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the deadline for the execution of the new directive on the registration of all Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards for another 10 weeks.
At a plenary session presided over by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday, it was resolved that a new deadline be fixed for February 28, 2021, to give subscribers enough time to meet up with the requirement.
The decision of the house was following a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Minority leader of the House Ndudi Elumelu, who warned that with the December timing, millions of subscribers will be disconnected and this would have a dire effect on Nigerians at this festive season.