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Mammoth crowd storms NIMC office at Alausa over fear of SIM apocalypse

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NIMC
Nigerians at NIMC office Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos, December 21, 2020. PHOTO: Twitter

A mammoth crowd stormed the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office at Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos on Monday.

This was in response to the mandate given by the Federal Government on December 14 that all Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) not synchronised with valid National Identity Number (NIN) by December 30th  2020 will be disconnected.

The last time Nigerians were thrown into such turmoil was when the Federal Government announced the mandatory for all bank customers to be captured in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project.

NIMC office
Nigerians at NIMC office Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos, December 21, 2020. PHOTO: Twitter

However, the announcement of the probable apocalypse of SIM scheduled for December 30th was an event foretold with signs and symptoms.

In February, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, called on the newly inaugurated Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to link up sim card registration to National Identification Card (ID Card) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

On December 9, the NCC ordered all telecommunications company to suspend sale, registration and activation of new SIM following the directive of Pantami that the Commission should embark on another audit of the Subscriber Registration Database.

Five days later, the biggest news, was announced after an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the Communications industry convened by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy on December 14.

– How well will Telecoms companies react? –

So far, there have been numerous steps taking by the telecoms companies to ensure Nigerians NIN is linked with their SIM as easy as possible. Some of them launched portals to such effect while most of them announced USSD codes to make the linking easier for their customers.

NIMC
Nigerians at NIMC office Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos, December 21, 2020. PHOTO: Twitter

– Nigerians react, offer probable solutions –

Many Nigerians were not bothered about the stress of visiting a NIMC office to obtain or register for their NIN. They were instead concerned about the violation of COVID-19 safety protocols especially as in the case of the mammoth crowd in Alausa Ikeja.

A Twitter user with the username, Pablo (@odu_dee) posted; “You sealed off clubhouses & all the NIMC centres across the nation is nothing to write home about seeing the crowd. How do the leaders of this country reason?”. While recommending what he assumed a solution, he continued; “With the bvn, we should be able to get this NIN on our phones.”

Vanguard News Nigeria





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