The Private Workers in the Telecommunications industry have rejected the two weeks deadline issued by the Federal Government to telecommunications operators to disconnect subscribers who fail to link their lines with the National Identification Number, NIN.
The statement is contained in a press release issued and signed by the President of Private Workers in the Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Opeyemi Tomori.
The association disclosed that the directive of the FG is disturbing and insensitive, saying with the 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, it is quite insensitive for the government to impose a new and an avoidable hardship on Nigerians through this directive.
The President of the association explained that it was reasonable enough for the government to address the bottlenecks encountered by Nigerians in the process of registration which had prevented the majority from obtaining their NIN, as the deadline and threats on the linking-up of NIN with SIMs, is a punishment to Nigerians out of the ineptitude of the Federal Government.
Tomori emphasized that since the introduction of NIN seven years ago, only about forty-three million Nigerians have been able to obtain NIN. Hence, to expect Nigerians to register and obtain NIN which they could not obtain for these number of years, and then link it up with their SIMs within two weeks beat our imaginations.
What they are saying
Opeyemi Tomori, in the press release, said:
- “We are disturbed by the insensitivity of the federal government in this press statement. 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.
- “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 centres 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.
- “Also, with the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, Nigerians will not be able to storm the registration centres without contracting the virus. Furthermore, we are in the Yuletide period during which a lot of Nigerians travel across the country to celebrate with their families, to ask them to register at this time is as good as putting paid to their festivities.
- “We implore the government to withdraw the directive, 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.”
Tomori called on the government to withdraw the directive because it was not well thought out and is highly unachievable. As registering about one hundred and seventy million Nigerians unregistered within two weeks is a tall order that can never be met with the present encumbrances in the present approach of registration.
In light of this, the association advised the government to shift its focus on getting more Nigerians registered seamlessly by bringing registration centre closer to the people. As there should be at least two registration centres in each of the wards throughout the federation.
What you should know about the NIN policy
- On 15th December 2020, the federal government through the National Communications Commission (NCC) directed that the GSM operators should require their subscribers to link up their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIMs within two weeks and failure to do so, the operators should block the lines of the concerned subscribers.
- The statement went further to threaten the operators with sanctions which include withdrawal of their licenses if they fail to effect the blockade.