The federal government's deadline to subscribers to link their National Identity Numbers to their SIM cards expires today.
However, a staggering 29 million sim cards have not been linked.
A top federal government official told Daily Trust on Monday that about 176m SIM cards had been linked to their owners’ NINs.
Nigerians who took to social media warned of the consequences of disconnecting millions of Nigerians from using their sim cards.
The government had given January 19 and February 9 deadlines for subscribers already with NINs and those without NINs respectively to link their SIMs with their unique identity numbers.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim Pantami’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, did not respond to Daily Trust’s enquiry seeking to know what would be the fate of those who failed to do the linkage before the deadline.
The Nigerian Communications Commission had said there would not be mass disconnection of telecom subscribers as a result of the ongoing linkage of NIN records to SIM Registration.
“A recent survey conducted in Nigeria has shown that on average, there are now approximately 4 to 5 SIMs to every human subscriber.
“This explains the basis of allowing the linkage of up to 7 SIMs to 1 unique NIN in the recently launched Federal Government Portal”, NCC had said in a recent statement.
While reacting to the expiration date, many Nigerians have dared the federal government to go ahead with SIM deactivation while many others lamented their inability to complete the process.
According to @ChibuikeChined4: “You cannot, and should not force the citizens who made the choice to buy phone and SIM network to register for what you couldn’t make easy and accessible to all Nigerians. This is indeed end time saga.”
“Is this how to address the citizens of the country.. I no blame una sha,” @OLUBUKOLA said.
@EwuluEpurepu said “This administration wouldn’t tolerate the youths seeking for deadline for d prosecution of culpable SARS officials but NIMC will issue deadline threats with reckless abandon to the youths.”
@Bigg_awwal explained that “Not when your staff stop extorting us before doing the NIMC….. Bcos of the crowd in the ministry the staff feel they are doing you favor by attending to you… If you didn’t settle them with some token they will tell you that you’re not serious…
@Gabafolayan wrote: “Actually some of us have done our NIN but still refused to link it to our sims.”
@abangdove also wrote: “My own issue with this NIN registration is that, when NIMC eventually starts blocking SIMs, a g
“They’ll just have a different queue from the rest when they get to the centre.” @mroscarromero added:
“If you don’t want NIMC to block your sim, go and borrow airtime immediately.”
@ayosogunro said: “A government that couldn’t ORGANICALLY get ALL its own federal and state civil servants (and their families) to register with NIMC really hoped to use THREATS to register all 180m of us and succeed?
“There is a serious lack of critical and creative thinking in this Buhari regime.”
According to @Faycity “I have not gotten my NIN because of the mistake of year of birth, I was asked to pay 15k to change it, and I don’t have such amount, what do I do?”
@Iam6iix: wrote “The only thing Nigerians take serious is “Low battery”. Hence we Association of strong Head are not actually bothered, we don’t want stress Biko. They should block the Sims so we can rest, they too will rest and everybody will all rest.”
“This is the height of it! I have been perambulating the NIMC centre close to my work place since last year till now which it falls under impossible to register. They are always like, come tomorrow come tomorrow. You can only chase us away from social media but not from this world!” @Jerry_leshy said.