Reps Link NIN Demand for SIM Registration to #EndSARS

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Reps Link NIN Demand for SIM Registration to #EndSARS
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

 The House of Representatives on Wednesday said the recent directive to link National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identification Module cards was linked with strange calls and messages received by public officials from strangers with unregistered SIM cards during the recent #EndSARS protests.

The House said it summoned the NCC to verify the identities of the owners of the telephone lines but they could not be verified as the SIM cards were not registered.

The NCC had ordered that SIM cards not linked to NIN issued by the National Identity Management Commission be blocked after weeks.

the legislative chamber, however, asked for an elongation of the deadline issued to subscribers to 10 weeks.

Speaking at the plenary on Wednesday, the Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, moved a motion of urgent public importance to demand more time for SIM card owners to provide their NIN.

Elumelu in the motion titled,

‘Need for the Nigerian Communications Commission to give Nigerians reasonable time to submit their National Identification Number for SIM Registration’ argued that the timeframe was too short for subscribers to meet up.

The House adopted the motion, agreeing that the exercise should be extended to January 28, 2021, as against the initial December 30, 2020, set by the NCC.

Elumelu while moving the motion disclosed how the house was carried along in the process.

He said, “Just yesterday (Tuesday), the NCC rolled out an instruction and the instruction is actually based on what is happening in Nigeria, rising from what happened during #EndSARS when hoodlums were using SIM cards to abuse and terrorise people in (public) office without being able to ascertain or track them.

“NCC was mandated that we should try as much as possible to ensure that all the service providers get all the SIM cards registered; and to first of all register with the National Identity Management Commission, and then have a National Identification Number, and you will take it to the (telecoms) service providers and they will register it.

“But, we did not envisage that having given that suggestion, that they would now come and say ‘we are limiting this process to only two weeks.’ Given the period that we are in, it will be almost impossible for 200 million Nigerians to meet the two weeks (deadline), hence this motion. The motion is not saying that we are condemning it; it is strictly for NCC to extend the two weeks.”

Reacting, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that the House already had a bill that sought synchronisation of all biometric data captured by the agencies.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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