NIN-SIM Linkage: Chaotic Scenes at Registration Centres, as Agents Charge N2000 and N3000 Per Applicant

NIN-SIM Linkage: Chaotic Scenes at Registration Centres, as Agents Charge N2000 and N3000 Per Applicant

  • Ahead of the October 31 deadline for the National Identity Number-Subscriber Identity Module data verification, chaos and extension returns to centres
  • This week, registration agents at some telecommunications outlets have reportedly continued to extort Nigerians waiting to get registered
  • Reports indicate further that some of the service outlets of mobile subscribers confirmed the return of large crowds and extortion of applicants for the service

Lagos state- As the October 31 deadline date for the linkage of National Identity Number (NIN) with Subscribers Identification Number (SIM) draws near, chaotic scenes have intensified at registration centres, especially the telecommunications outlets nationwide.

This is even as registration agents at some of the telecoms sales outlets and National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) centres have continued to extort Nigerians waiting to get registered.

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The Guardian reports that a visit to some of the service outlets, including that of Airtel, Globacom and MTN, confirmed the return of crowds and extortion of between N2000 and N3000 per applicant for the service.

NIN-SIM linkage: Chaos at registration centres ahead of October 31 deadline
Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), is the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Photo credit: NIMC
Source: Facebook

At Airtel service outlets at Okota and Isolo road, the agents who gave their names as Bridget and Temidayo claimed that the N2000 was the registration fee. Subscribers in large numbers were seen waiting to be captured and registered.

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One of the agents, Bridget, when queried that the NIN registration ought to be free said, “the order to collect money is from above.”

At MTN office, Fatai Atere Road, Mushin, though not overcrowded, subscribers experienced some delays because there were issues relating to the confirmation of some Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), especially those that start with 221/222. Some frustrated subscribers were seen sleeping while waiting their turn.

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A subscriber, Ngozi Nwangu, claimed that she got to the MTN office as early as 7:00a.m. to link her SIM with NIN. She disclosed that so many people, out of frustration, have gone back to their homes due to network hitches.

She stated:

“At 3: 00p.m., I am still here waiting for the BVN network to come up so that it can be confirmed and my SIM can be subsequently linked to the NIN, but there are issues with that. I still don’t know how long I am going to be here.”

At MTN Opebi office, the crowds were much but they were attended to in an orderly manner.

At the Globacom office on Airport Road, subscribers were seen waiting to be captured and registered adequately.

Already, a public affairs analyst, Majeed Dahiru, has called on the federal government and the NIMC to urgently address the overwhelming reports of extortion of NIN applicants.

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Dahiru, in broadcast, noted that the extortion of citizens at the NIN enrolment centres was not a surprise, but the government was expected to have put in place emergency measures against NIMC officials perpetrating fraud.

He called on those at the helm of affairs at NIMC and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to exterminate all forms of corruption going on in NIN registration across the country. While underscoring the importance of accurate data in the planning and development of Nigeria, he said that corruption was undermining the process of NIN registration and linkage to SIM cards.

He said:

“Extortion of citizens is a huge compromise on our national security. And I had expected an emergency measure to curb this menace. It is a menace; we may not know the full implications today until a little later when the negative impact of this issue begins to manifest in our national security negatively.”

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Efforts to get NIMC Spokesperson, Kayode Adegoke, to comment was not successful, as he promised to get back on the matter but as at press time he was yet to revert.

Recall that the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMs) called for a two-month extension of the NIN-SIM linkage exercise, a report by The Punch also indicates.

NCC denies plan to disqualify Nigerians under 18-years from owning SIM cards

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described reports that it plans to disqualify Nigerians below the age of 18-years-old from owning or registering Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards as misleading.

It was reported that the NCC in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, its director of public administration said the new report is a misrepresentation of the proceedings of the Reviewed/Draft Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations organised by the commission.

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According to Adinde, parents are allowed to acquire SIM cards for their children and wards.

No more extension, NCC issues final warning to Nigerians yet to link their SIM with NIN

Earlier, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued a stern warning to Nigerians yet to have their Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) cards linked with their National Identity Numbers (NIN) to do so before the Sunday, 31st, October deadline.

According to the commission, those yet to comply will no longer be able to use their lines upon the expiration of the deadline.

NCC issued this warning in a statement after the conclusion of the second edition of the Telecoms Consumer Town Hall radio program, held on Wednesday.


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