BY: Ayomide Arowobusoye
The Federal Government of Nigeria has given all telecommunication service providers in the country two weeks to block all SIM cards that are not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN).
This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
Similarly, the Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, took to his twitter account yesterday, to explain how Nigerians can confirm if their SIM card is already registered or not.
His tweet read: “As the NCC gave telecommunications operators (MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile and others) two weeks to block all SIM cards that are not linked with the National Identity Numbers (NIN), if already enrolled, dial *346# to retrieve your NIN, as we await details from NCC/telecoms. SHARE!”
However, this new development has attracted widespread reactions from Nigerians on social media.
While some Nigerians have lamented that the code to retrieve the NINs attracts a service charge of N20 instead of being toll-free, others are of the opinion that the timing of the directive is wrong since the country is still trying to manage the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some Nigerians have also stated that the development was unnecessary since there are several other means of identification in the country.
The News Beam gathered some of these reactions, see them below:
@Milktmamii Limawo: 206 million people x 20 naira each. They want to use our money and do Detty December.
L2 @lekansquare_: 20 naira per person. You people keep ripping us off the little we have yet are so insensitive to our plight. The president who couldn’t visit a school visited his cows yet sent a delegate from Abuja to Katsina where he presently is. Who cursed us with you bloodsucking leaders.
Kelvin Odanz @MrOdanz: The NCC announcement has put people in a panic to check if they have the NIN by dialing *346# on their phones. It costs N20 each time you use *346# to check your NIN.There are at least 100 million cell phones with SIMs in Nigeria. Do the maths. 20 × 100 million.Soft work. Yahoo+
Odogwu @Daddy_Nomso: The Same Govt that said #EndSARS was spreading Covid 19 wants N100M people to get NIN to Register Sims in 2 weeks. We have not gotten our Nation ID, 5 years after registration & when you try to get your NIN through USSD from NIMC they charge you N20 while you get nothing in return.
DANNY WALTER @DannyWalta: “We use a Local Govt Identity certificate to register for International Passport, then use Int’l Passport to register for Driver’s License, then use Driver’s License to register for NIN, then use NIN to register SIMS.” Nigerian Government enjoys making their Citizens suffer.
#OurFavOnlineDoc @DrOlufunmilayoThere’s driver’s license. There’s bank BVN numbers. There’s local govt birth certificate. There’s international passport. Most Nigerians have at least one of this. But the govt gave 200 million people 2 weeks to get National ID or their sims will be blocked. New day. New madness.
Kate Henshaw @HenshawKate: Driver’s licence – whosai, International passport – baabu, BVN – for where National ID card – nayheee Its now NIN one needs to get a sim. These people are not going to be satisfied till they bleed us dry and make this hell fiery fiery hot for us. Issokay
Damorela #MadeInLagos @damorelaa The Ministry of Health warned that Nigeria is entering a second wave of the pandemic.. But the Nigerian government through NCC thinks it’s a good idea to force over 120 million Nigerians to go queue up and add their NIN/NIMC number to their sims card profile within 2 weeks.
Richard @meettheRichardThese people said sims not registered with NIN will be blocked in two weeks time. Lmao. Before I could even complete my registration with NIMC, I had to pay for what is meant to be free and it also took days to get it. This country na joke.
KẹlẹChi 勇敢_珍贵™@PluckyPrecious: The Nigerian Government have a very stinking tactics. You see this Sims and National ID shit during COVID-19 is to shift everyone’s attention from the insecurity in the North + loan they borrowed to embezzle. Yahoo Yahoo NIMC government.
Dr. Joe Abah@DrJoeAbah: I suggest that you issue a clarifying statement. THE TELCOs should quietly link SIMs to existing NINs, just like banks quietly linked BVN to account numbers without stressing anybody. A proper process, funding & timeframe should then be put in place for @nimc_ng to register more.
Catch22@TheSonOfGeorge: Let me get this straight. They’re shutting down bars and other public places in supposed preparation for the second wave. And then they’re trying to force millions of people to apply for NIN and register their sims with it within two weeks? In what world does that make sense?
Duke of Africa @Allezamani: When I was registering for National ID, I was neither aware nor told to impute the number of my two sims. Now, the NIN wants all citizens to update their data with all their existing numbers with the excuse of “it will promote & enable easy tracking of criminals”. What about BVN?
Omo Kiikan @OmoKiikanI really pity MTN sha. If Dem block my Sims because of National ID, I dey owe them 1750..I go just buy new sim start new life.