The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to jettison the two weeks deadline for linking SIM cards to National Identity Number (NIN) and extend the deadline.
The NCC at an emergency meeting chaired by the Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, asked telecommunications company to block all sim cards that are not linked with a National Identity Number within the next two weeks.
During plenary on Wednesday December 16, the house observed that the timing for Nigerians to link their sim cards with their NINs was too short.
The decision to call for an extension came after a motion of urgent public importance was moved by the Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu.
Elumelu in his motion explained that the House agrees with the policy of linking SIM cards to NIN and that the policy is consistent with the position of the House. He however noted that Nigerians haven’t been adequately sensitized and that calling for registration at this time could lead to a stampede and exploitation. Emphasizing the need for the extension, Mr Elumelu said two weeks was too little for the over 200 million Nigerians, especially considering the Christmas period.
“As laudable as the idea behind the policy may seem, the timing is very wrong because Nigerians have not been properly sensitized, as only a few educated persons who bother to read the dailies might have heard about this instructions.
Therefore trying to enforce this policy in a period where most Nigerians are gearing up for Christmas festivities may lead to stampede in the process of rushing to get registered which could lead to unnecessary death and injuries.
If the NCC is allowed to carry out this directive, it will bring about untold hardship as millions of subscribers will be disconnected this yuletide period which could spell disaster in an already volatile nation like ours.
If the NCC is not urgently called to halt their plans there may be unnecessary panic in the country, which may lead to exploitation of vulnerable Nigerian thereby causing more pains in an already pathetic situation, hence the need to urgently wade into this impending crisis”
Adopting the motion, the House urged the NCC to instead give a reasonable amount of time to enable Nigerians to submit their national identity numbers to service providers.