-by our correspondent.
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called on the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission to extend the deadline for the planned linking of Subscribers Identity Modules(SIM) cards to National Identity Number (NIN).
The Association’s appeal follows a Press Statement by the Public Affairs Unit of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), dated December 15th 2020 on the implementation of New SIM Registration Rules. The NCC statement require that Mobile phone subscribers to link their SIM to NIN within two weeks (starting from December 16, 2020 to 30th December 2020); after which all SIMs without NIN will be blocked.
Director General of NACCIMA, Ayoola Olukanni
NACCIMA observes that, while it is appropriate to link SIM to NIN as part of steps to prevent abuse and misuse of the Cards especially for criminal purpose and to address the security challenges facing the country, there is also the need for extension of the period of implementation of the new SIM regulation for at least two months, until the end February 2021.
The reasons given by NACCIMA for this extension of deadline include the following:-
- Not many Nigerians currently have NIN numbers, consequently, many will rush and crowd various NIN Registration Centre in a desperate bid to obtain a NIN numbers.
- The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has warned of second wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic and advised against crowding and Nigerians must observe social distancing as crowding will certainly occur at the registration and this should be avoided to prevent the spreading of the disease.
- Business activities are usually at their peak in the last two weeks of the year, hence, the enforcement of this new SIM Regulations, will certainly affect businesses adversely; and
- It is highly expected that there will be high incidence of truancy and absenteeism on the part of staff desperate to update their SIM. Consequently most people could spend all day at the centres struggling to meet the deadline. Additionally, a rushed exercise will provide avenue for corruption and touting.
Against the background, NACCIMA pleaded with the Honourable Minister, and the Nigerian Communications Commission and by extension all the stakeholders, to extend the period of the exercise to at the least February 28, 2021.
“We hope this appeal for extension of time on linking SIM to NIN , which has also been made by various members of the public will receive positive consideration and the deadline will be extended till at least end of February 2021.” The Director General of NACCIMA, Ayoola Olukanni said.