The Federal Government has been asked to withdraw the directive instructing telecoms subscribers to link their SIM card with the National Identification Number (NIN), stating that the policy is not coming at a good time.
According to the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN), in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Opeyemi Tomori and General Secretary, Comrade Okonu Abdullahi, stressed that the government should address the bottlenecks encountered during registration first or withdraw the directive.
“We are forced to believe that, as usual, the government wants to punish Nigerians for her own ineptitude. At this point in time that there is pervasive hardship in the land brought about by banditry, terrorism, thuggery and increasing high cost of living occasioned by the government’s hike on electricity tariff and fuel pump price we do not expect the government to impose a new and an avoidable hardship on Nigerians through this directive.”
“We implore the government to withdraw the directive because it was not well thought out and is highly unachievable. To register about one hundred and seventy million Nigerians that are yet to be registered within two weeks is a tall order that can never be met with the present encumbrances in the present approach of registering the people.”
“By giving two weeks to Nigerians that have not registered to do so will surely add more hardship on them. The Government is practically telling them to abandon their businesses and whatever they are doing that bring incomes for them within that long period of time.
Also, with the second wave of COVID-19 in the country Nigerians will not be able to storm the registration centers without contracting the virus.”
The union explained that, “rather than issuing a deadline and threats on linking up the NIN to SIMs what we believe the government should do is to address the bottlenecks encountered by Nigerians in the process of registration which have prevented majority of them from obtaining their NIN.
Is the government aware that it is only about forty-three Million Nigerians that have been able to obtain NIN since its introduction over seven years ago? To expect Nigerians to register and obtain NIN in order to link it up with their SIMs within two weeks what they could not obtain for these number of years beat our imaginations.”
“Nigerians have suffered immensely trying to obtain the NIN to no avail. Stories told by those that have registered are not pleasant. Some were leaving their homes for the registration centers as early as 4am daily for weeks before they could register. While those that could not withstand the rigor part with monies to hasten things up for them.”
“We understand the importance of having a comprehensive database for the country and at the same time having NIN linked with SIMs we implore the government to adopt the best of approaches in putting them in place. All these can be done without necessarily causing hardship to Nigerians.”
Recall that National Communication Commission (NCC) recently mandated the telecommunications operators across the country to block all the SIM cards not linked with National Identity Numbers (NIN).