164 Million Nigerians May Have their Mobile Phones Disconnected by Dec. 30
Except the federal government heeds the advice given by members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, about 164 Nigerians may be disconnected from their mobile phone service providers by December 30.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed on Wednesday that Nigerians with National Identification Numbers (NINs) were about 43 million, meaning that about 164 million do not have.
NIMC spokesman, Kayode Adegoke, made the revelation.
The 164 million Nigerian without the NIN have been targeted by the federal government for disconnection from their mobile phone services by December 31, 2020 if they fail to integrate their NINs to Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) registration records.
As of October 2020, the total number of mobile network connections in Nigeria was about 207.58 million.
Nigeria’s communication minister, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami had last week directed the telecommunication industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to instruct telcos to immediately suspend the sale and activation of new SIM cards to allow another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.
In addition, on Tuesday, as part of the audit process, the telcos, the minister and the NCC reached an agreement that all SIM cards that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies should be blocked.
Nigerians have however reacted that the directive was unrealistic, especially with the problem of inadequate resources and NIMC registration centres across the country, and members of the House of Representatives have on Wednesday asked the federal government to expand the time-frame to 10 weeks.
They also said the timing was wrong given the closeness of Charismas, the return of COVID-19 and the ineffectiveness of the NIMC.
Service providers in Nigeria have however pledged to invest in systems, processes and structure that would make the registration easy, even though they said in a statement issued by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria on Wednesday that the process would be inconvenient for subscribers.
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