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NIN-SIM Linkage: The Intransigence of some Nigerians and The Government’s Failure

NIN-SIM Linkage: The Intransigence of some Nigerians and The Government’s Failure

Just recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria made a move to block millions of SIM cards which were unregistered and unlinked with the National Identification Number (NIN) by its users. This action by the Federal Government to disconnect unregistered telecommunication subscribers met a lot of criticism by some Nigerians.

For close to two years now, the federal government had given an order to Nigerians to link their SIM cards with their NIN but some Nigerians proved to be too stubborn. They didn’t even consider the repercussions of disobeying the government’s order, and are now blaming the government which had been patient with them for over a long time, by extending the deadlines meant for the registration.

Some Nigerians who were interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) complained the government’s ban had affected their businesses. Why and how won’t their businesses be affected when they refused to carry out a simple task. Dialing the code for linkage became a very hard task for them for close to two years, but disregarding the authorities became much more easier.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) recently gave the Federal Government a 2-day ultimatum to unblock over 70 million SIM cards that were barred. But it seems the group forgot that the government were lenient and even continuously gave sufficient notice to the citizens to ensure that they complied and carried out the registration.

Nigerians need to stop this attitude of being a “Doubting Thomas” and do the needful. Those who didn’t do the needful are now running kitikiti and running katakata to telecom centres to restore and link their SIM cards. 

The government also have a problem in this issue. They were unable to implement the use of the NIN-SIM card linkage to further our national security, neither was our security architecture in anyway impacted.

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Another problem which later emanated lied with the government’s agency, The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). They were giving out invalid national identification numbers that could not be linked to SIM cards. Some Nigerians even complained that they were barred from making and even receiving calls despite the fact that they had done the NIN-SIM linkage.

Another problem was that people were paying a large amount of money for the registration. At the early stage of this exercise before the COVID-19 outbreak, the registration was free. As of today, some Nigerians spend between 5000 to 10000 naira to register and revalidate their NIN. You don’t expect every Nigerian to possess the financial capacity to partake in the registration process. Just the way the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) is being registered, the government should have made provision for Nigerians to be freely registered.

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