We need a minimum of 6 months to register Nigerians for NIN – NATCOM

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Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers has said the timeframe given by the NCC to complete the integration of SIM cards with National Identification Number, NIN is not enough.

During an interview with Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, monitored by NewsWireNGR, Dr Ogunbanjo said, “The two weeks given by the Minister and the 10 weeks given by the National Assembly can never be enough.”

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had on Monday asked telecommunications companies to block SIM cards not registered with NIN after two weeks.

The directive has come under criticism from many Nigerians who believe the timeframe is too small and it is ill-advised for people to troop into registration centres with a looming threat of COVID-19.   

On Tuesday, the National Assembly advised that the timeframe be extended to 10 weeks of registration

Ogunbanjo recounted this worry, “They have just registered 40 million, we are between 120 and 160 million and we have about 212 million subscribers. 173 grossly inadequate so we need a minimum of 6 months.” 

When asked by one of the reporters that the Minister might have his convictions on the timeframe, Ogunbanjo disagreed vehemently.

 Citing the example of SIM card registration, Ogunbanjo said that the government initially ordered 6 months to be used for the sum registration but they had to eventually extend it to 2 years. 

“if you look at the last sim registration exercise, again, it was contracted to about 7 companies, I know JKk, Jams and all those people. Initially, they say about 6 months but all in all it came to two years at that time.”

Ogunbanjo said he understands the NCC made the directive because of it’s originality. 

He said, “I know where they are coming from. The four means of identification, international passport, driver’s licence, voter’s card and NIN, the other three can be cloned, can be faked but NIN is the one that can never be faked.”

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